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- Current Affairs 2017 August
Ministry of Defence approves delegation of Powers to Border Roads Organisation (BRO)
On August 20 2017,The Ministry of Defence has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to overcome delays in the construction of strategic roads along the India-China border.
According to the references between the Chief Engineer and HQ DGBR and also between HQ DGBR and the Ministry, the defence ministry has assigned more administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for increase the speed to complete the projects.
Reason for transformational change :-
i.A Chief Engineer in the BRO has improved the limit from Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 50 crore` for administrative approval and departmental work
ii.The Additional Director General Border Roads (ADGBR) had enhanced the powers from Rs. 20 crore to Rs. 75 crore for departmental works.
iii.DGBR had greater powers from Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 100 crore for contractual works and all administrative approvals…..Click here to view more details
8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress in Delhi
On August 21, 2017,The Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines (Independent Charge) Shri Piyush Goyal addressing the 3- day 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress in New Delhi.
The Energy And Environment Foundation would be organizing 8th World Renewable Energy Technology Congress & Expo-2017 from 21st to 23rd August, 2017 at the Expo & Convention Centre, Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt, Delhi, India.
The theme of the conference is “Renewable Energy: What Works”.
Important session of the conference
i.During the opening session of the conference, the Minister also gave away Energy and Environment Foundation Global Excellence awards 2017.
ii.The Annual Conference also pictures and planned in the backdrop of India’s vision on achieving “Energy Independence and Power for all by 2022”.
iii.Shri Goyal talked about the 3Ds related to energy such as De-carbonization of the energy space; to look at more Decentralization of energy space; and more and more Digitalization of the energy space.He is also added our technological advancements in renewable energy sector….Click here to view more details
Dr. Jagdish Mukhi commissioned IN LCU L52, Second Ship of Landing Craft Utility into the Indian Navy at Port Blair
On August 21, 2017 Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, commissioned IN LCU L52 into the Indian Navy at Port Blair. IN LCU L52 is the second Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class .
i.This ship has been designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. LCU MK-IV ship is used to transport and deploy Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore.
ii.This ship has multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.
iii.Commander Kaushik Chatterjee, will be commanded with 05 officers, 46 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops
iv.The ship, displacing 830 Tons, is capable of transporting various kinds of combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72 and other vehicles.
v.The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
The remaining of six ships with the same class at M/S GRSE, Kolkata are expected to be inducted in the next two years. The induction of these ships will contribute to the nation’s maritime security needs and is in consonance with ‘Make in India’.
40% reservation for girls at planned schools, higher edu inst.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has informed that the government has decided to offer 40 per cent reservation for girls at 100 Navodaya-type schools and five higher education institutes.
i.A panel formed by The Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF), a government-funded agency, had recommended a three-tier model to tackle educational backwardness among minorities, particularly the Muslims.
ii.There are six notified minority communities in the country: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Jains.
iii.The suggested model includes creating infrastructure to impart education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels by opening 211 schools, 25 community colleges and the five institutes.The proposed schools could work on the patterns of Kendriya Vidayala or Navodaya Vidyalaya.
iv.Students from various rural areas will be selected and provided with quality education,food and lodging facilities under the Navodaya Vidyalaya system.
Multi-sectoral development programme (MsDP) is for developing infrastructure and creating assets in areas dominated by minority community with an aim to take tangible and intangible benefits to them.The governments in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have expressed interest in setting up the institutes for higher education.
Assam Plans To Introduce Compassionate Family Pension Scheme
On August 20,2017 Assam state government is introducing a new Scheme called, Scheme for Compassionate Family Pension (CFP) at GAUHATI.The scheme plans to offer the compassionate family pension instead of job offers to family members due to some practical difficulties.
i.A new scheme called ‘Scheme for Compassionate Family Pension in lieu of Compassionate Appointment’, which will be known as ‘Compassionate Family Pension Scheme’ or CFP Scheme.
ii.Current Policy couldn’t satisfy the objectives completely and legal heir fails to get an appointment immediately due to lack of educational qualifications and sometimes non-availability of vacancies.
iii.The scheme will be applicable to those employees who died in harness on or after April 1, 2017, but the relevant office message related to the compassionate appointments will be applicable to those who died on or before March 31, 2017.
The new scheme will be applicable to all employees of the state government, all others as eligible under Assam Services (Pension) Rules, 1969, all state government employees under NPS category and All India Services officers borne on Assam cadre.
HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launches ‘Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’
On August 21,2017 ‘Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’ Programme, was launched in Kochi.
i.A program is an initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs of Kendriya Vidyalaya students.
ii.Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri. Prakash Javadekar unveil the Profile Card in a function held at Kendriya Vidyalaya at KV NAD, Aluva (Kochi).
iii.District Collector Muhammed Y Safeerulla and Kendriya Vidyalaya Additional Commissioner U N Khaware were also attended the programme.
iv.The programme aims to make students, teachers and parents aware of the importance of good health and fitness and encourage ‘60 minutes of play’ every day.
Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat programme will provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups and children of different abilities.
Lost wreckage of warship USS Indianapolis found in pacific after 72 years
A team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of World War II warship USS Indianapolis nearly after 72 years. It is 18000 feet (5.5 km) below the surface in the Pacific Ocean. It has been announced on 18th of August 2017.
i.The Indianapolis was destroyed returning from its secret mission to deliver parts for the atomic bomb which was later used on Hiroshima.
ii.Of the 1,196 men on board, just 316 were rescued – the largest loss of life at sea in the history of the US Navy. Only of them, 22 are alive today.
iii.The USS Indianapolis was destroyed on 30 July 1945 when, somewhere in the Philippine sea between Guam and Leyte, it was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine.
iv.The wreck was located by the expedition crew of Paul Allen’s Research Vessel Petrel, a 250 foot vessel equipped with high-tech equipment capable of diving to 6000 meters.
v.The 13-person crew was led to the location of the USS Indianapolis through the research carried out in 2016 by Richard Hulver, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command.
vi.The information rendered by the landing craft led the research team to a new position and estimated the search area for Allen’s team.
vii.The crew will continue to survey the site and tour of the wreckage in compliance with relevant US law for searching war graves.
US-South Korea begin annual “The Ulchi Freedom Guardian “military drills
The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian is a military drill which sees the US and South Korea join forces in a string of exercises.
i.The annual drill involves huge land, air and sea exercises, with tens of thousands of troops involved from both countries.
ii.The exercises, designed to improve South Korea’s defence, are carried out to recognise the treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States signed in 1953.
iii.They are named after a famous Korean general, Munduk Ulchi, who lived in the early seventh century and was a successful army leader.
iv.The drill is expected, from August 21 to August 31, 2017.It also involves computer-simulated war games with 30,000 American and 50,000 South Korean troops, according to South Korea’s defence ministry and the US military command in Seoul.
v.It is believed the exercises will involve around 17,5000 US troops mostly involved in the simulation side of the drills.
Qatar to build Arabian cap-shaped stadium for FIFA World Cup
i.This symbolic design embodies everything that unites us as Arabs and Muslims, and is a fitting tribute to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East. Qatar is building at least eight air-conditioned stadiums for the tournament.
ii.Doha’s Al Thumama stadium, designed by a Qatari architect in the shape of a traditional knitted “gahfiya” Arabian cap, will host 40,000 fans at a World Cup quarter final match, the country’s 2022 organising body.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI tops share of willful default to PSBs
Country’s largest lender SBI accounts for over 27% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilful defaulters announced on 20th August 2017.
i.Total 1,762 wilful defaulters owed Rs 25,104 crore to State Bank of India as on 31 March.
ii.Punjab National Bank (PNB) is next on the list with 1,120 wilful defaulters having outstanding non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of Rs12,278 crore.
iii.Together these two banks account for Rs37,382 crore or 40% of the total outstanding loans.
iv.According to the Finance Ministry data total outstanding loans due to public sector banks by wilful defaulters amounted to Rs92,376 crore.
v.The total outstanding loans by wilful defaulters rose to Rs92,376 crore at the end of financial year 2016-17, from Rs76,685 crore at the end of last fiscal 2015-16 — up 20.4%.
vi.During 2016-17, 27 public sector banks, including SBI and its five associates had written off Rs81,683 crore, the highest in the last five fiscals.
vii.Gross NPAs of the public sector banks rose to Rs6.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2017 as against Rs5.02 lakh crore a year ago.
viii.RBI has allowed banks to name and shame wilful defaulters by publishing their photographs.
SBI waives off up to 100% processing fee on car, gold, personal loans
State Bank of India (SBI) has announced waiver of up to 100% of processing fee on car loans, personal gold loans and personal loans for the festive season.
i.SBI had previously waived off processing fee on the takeover of home loans.
ii.The bank has waived the entire processing fee on car loans till 31st December 2017 and half of the processing fee on personal gold loans till 31st October 2017.
iii.Customers can also avail 50% waiver on processing fee on Xpress Credit, a personal loan offering by the bank, till 30th September 2017.
iv.SBI’s retail advances grew at 13.31% year-on-year from Rs 4,32,455 crore as on June 2016 to Rs 4,90,005 crore as on June 2017.
Anti-dumping duty imposed on tempered glass from China
The Finance Ministry has imposed an anti-dumping duty on certain “textured toughened tempered glass” which imports from China.
i.Textured toughened tempered glass is used as a component in solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal applications.
ii.This product is also known as solar glass, low iron solar glass or high transmission photovoltaic glass.
iii.Gujarat Borosil Ltd, the sole producer of tempered glass in the country, had filed the petition seeking anti-dumping probe on ‘textured toughened tempered glass’ imports from China.
iv.The revenue department has imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from $52.85 per tonne to $136.21 per tonne, depending on the producer and exporter from China.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Indian –origin boy Rahul Doshi crowned ‘Child Genius’ in UK
An Indian-origin boy, 12-year-old Rahul Doshi was crowned as the UK’s ‘Child Genius’ in a popular television quiz competition on 20 August 2017.
i.Rahul Doshi won the Channel 4 show ‘Child Genius’ by defeating his opponent Ronan a 9 year old boy by 10-4 points in the programme’s finale.
ii.Rahul Doshi believed to be having an IQ higher than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
iii.He has a vast knowledge of his chosen subject – Edward Jenner’s medical innovation and methodology in 18th Century England.
iv.The school boy from north London clinched the title by answering a question on 19th Century artists William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.
v.Rahul has an IQ of 162, which is believed to be higher than the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
vi.He qualifies to be a member of Mensa club – the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.
vii.Rahul ambition is to become a financial adviser.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Microsoft acquires Cycle Computing to accelerate users’ movement to cloud
Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Cycle Computing on 21st of August 2017. It will help it easier for Azure customers to use High Performance Computing (HPC) and other Big Computing capabilities in the cloud and help them accelerate their movement to the cloud.
i.Cycle Computing makes optimizing Hybrid HPC workloads easier and the process of bursting or migrating HPC clusters to the cloud more productive.
ii.It offers tools that help companies orchestrate and manage large scale compute jobs across hybrid environments.
iii.Azure has a massive global footprint and more than any other major cloud provider.
iv It also has powerful infrastructure, Infini Band support for fast networking and state-of-the-art GPU capabilities.
v.Microsoft can now support its expertise in extending and migrating Linux and Windows based HPC jobs to the cloud by acquiring Cycle Computing.
vi.The cloud gives customers the on-demand power and infrastructure necessary to run massive workloads at scale without the overhead.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
- It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.
- Founded on April 4, 1975
- Founders: Bill Gates Paul Allen
- Chairman: John W. Thompson
- President: Brad Smith
- CEO: Satya Nadella
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Scientists found new ‘state of matter’ to explain superconductivity
Scientists have found a potential new state of matter that may help explain phenomena like superconductivity.
Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. showed that among superconducting materials in high magnetic fields, the phenomenon of electronic symmetry breaking is common.
What is super conductivity?
Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic flux fields occurring in certain materials, called superconductors, when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature.
- The high-magnetic-field state of the heavy fermions superconductor “CeRhIn5 “revealed a state in which the material’s electrons aligned in such a way to apparently reduce the symmetry of the original crystal.
- Heavy fermions materials are a specific type of intermetallic compound, containing rare earth or actinide element. Heavy fermions behaviour has been found in a broad variety of states including metallic, superconducting, insulating and magnetic states….Click here to view more details
UK scientists create world’s smallest surgical robot
UK Scientists have developed the world’s smallest surgical robot with low-cost technology. It is used in mobile phones and space industries.
i.The robot named Versius, mimics the human arm. It can be used to carry out a wide range of procedures in which a series of small incisions are made to circumvent the need for traditional open surgery.
ii.One of the key benefits of the robot is that it works like a human arm and contains technology that detects resistance to make sure the right amount of force is used when the instruments are inside the patient.
iii.The robot is much easier to use than existing systems, and take up about a third of the space of current machines.
iv.These include hernia repairs, colorectal operations, as well as prostate, ear, nose and throat surgery.
v.Such procedures reduce complications and pain after surgery and speed up recovery time for patients.
vi.The robot is controlled by a surgeon at a console guided by a 3D screen in the operating theatre.
vii.Researchers used electronics from mobile phones to help the robot “think” and process information.
viii.The gear box technology originally designed for the space industry to help it move. The robot is set to be launched next year.
Pune farm sees country’s first calf born to surrogate cow
i.In Indapur, about 140 kilometres from Pune, the Pathan family celebrated the birth of a new family member Vijay, the country’s first calf delivered by a surrogate cow through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory.
ii.Dr Shyam Zavar, CEO of JK Trust, an organisation which works at improving cattle breed informed that through IVF technology, it can give birth to 20 calves in a year through surrogate method with recipient cow, which means nearly 200 in its lifetime.
iii.About 50 embryos can be produced by a donor cow in a year.
Western & Southern Open 2017
The Cincinnati Masters currently called the Western & Southern Open is an annual outdoor hard court tennis event. The tournament was held annually at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, a northern suburb of Ohio near Cincinnati, in the United States.
- The 2017 Western & Southern Open was a men’s and women’s tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts from August 14–20, 2017.
- The tournament is the second largest summer tennis event in the U.S. after the U.S. Open, as its men’s portion is one of nine elite Masters 1000 tournaments on the ATP World Tour and its women’s event is one of five Premier 5 events on the WTA Tour.
- The 2017 tournament was the 116th men’s edition and the 89th women’s edition of the Cincinnati Masters.
|1||Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov won his first Men’s singles Masters 1000 title
|2||Garbine Muguruza of Spain won women’s singles
|3||Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won Men’s Cincinnati Doubles
|4||Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis captured women’s double
FIBA Asia Cup: Australia crowned champions of Asia on tournament debut in Lebanon
Australia, playing for the first time at the rebranded FIBA Asia Cup, became the first Oceanic team to be crowned champions of Asia.
i.Australia has beaten Iran in final held on 20th August 2017.
ii.The Australian Boomers have won the FIBA Asia Cup in their first attempt with a commendable victory over Iran in the gold medal game.
iii.Total 16 teams have participated and Australia has got 79 points and runner team Iran got 56 points.
iv. Matches held between:
(a)Final: Australia 79 Iran 56
(b)Bronze medal match: South Korea 80 New Zealand 71
(c)Fifth-place match: China 79 Lebanon 78
(d)Seventh-place match: Philippines 75 Jordan 70
(e)Semi-finals: Australia 106 New Zealand 79, Iran 87 South Korea 81
About FIBA Asia Cup
The 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly known as the FIBA Asia Championship) was the 29th continental basketball championship in Asia.
- The tournament was organised by FIBA Asia and held in Lebanon.
- It took place from 8 to 20 August 2017.
- The Nouhad Nawfal Stadium hosted the tournament’s matches.
US comedian Jerry Lewis passed away
Multi-talented US actor and comedian Jerry Lewis has died. He was 91.
i.Lewis was known for his slapstick humour and a lucrative decade-long partnership with Dean Martin.
ii.He starred in more than 45 films in a career spanning five decades.
iii.He was hailed as ‘le Roi du Crazy’ (the king of crazy) and inducted into the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, in 1984. He received a similar honour in 2006.