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Supreme Court declared Triple Talaq as unconstitutional, illegal and void
i.Triple talaq is a form of divorce in Islam . It allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce). The pronouncement could be oral or written, or, in recent times, delivered by electronic means such as telephone, SMS, email or social media.
ii.Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting a stay on triple talaq for six months on practice, asking the government to prepare the required legislation. Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit held it as violative of the Constitution.
iii.The government has mentioned the practice of instant divorce is already banned in 20 Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan and Pakistan, that have banned triple talaq.
Two kinds of Talaq:
- Talaq-ul-Sunnat or revocable Talaq, and
- Talaq-ul-Bidaat or irrevocable Talaq….Click here to view more details
Cabinet Approval on August 22nd 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved below schemes.
i.Cabinet approves MoU between India and Nepal for construction of a new Bridge over Mechi River
ii.“Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme – “”Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana”
iii.Cabinet approves setting up of a Commission to examine the Sub-Categorization within OBCs
iv.Cabinet approves Closure of loss making Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company
v.Cabinet gives in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM)….Click here to view more details
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant launch ‘Mentor India Campaign’
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has launched the Mentor India Campaign. It is a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs.
i.It has established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission on 23rd of August 2017.
ii.The mission aims to set up over 900 such labs across India and have 2,000 such labs by the end of 2017.
iii.The campaign, Mentor India is aimed at maximising the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs where the idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.
iv.These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.
v.Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where students from Class 6 to Class 12 learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India.
vi.The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics and electronics development tools, Internet of things and sensors.
vii.NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission is among one of the flagship programs of the Government of India to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country to set up the Atal Tinkering Labs across the country.
viii.The body of experts are seeking leaders who can spend anywhere between one to two hours every week in one or more such labs to enable students experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking.
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports establish National Sports Museum in New Delhi
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is going to establish National Sports Museum at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. It will be first of its kind sports museum in India.
i.The Museum will showcase the India’s achievements in sports and also focus on the traditional sports within the country.
ii.The aim of the Museum is to popularise the sports as a way of life within the country.
iii.It will display achievements of the Indian greats in sports and also act as an educational hub and offer opportunity for the young to delve into some sporting activity.
iv.It is proposed that the Museum will have audio-visual display of rules and legacy events pertaining to various sports as part of education for the budding sportspersons.
v.A well-equipped library of sports and physical fitness, painting gallery and amphitheater for screening of legacy matches/ contests/games is also planned.
vi.The Museum will also have a cafeteria, an activity zone, a souvenir/pro shop and a play area.
vii.It is proposed that the activities planned in various segments will include sporting activities, sports related computer games and kiosks selling sports memorabilia and sports equipment.
Canada allows entry of Indian pomegranate, banana & okra
Indian bananas, pomegranate, custard apple and okra will soon be available in Canada as the North American country has allowed their import for the first time.
i.Canada has allowed import of these fruits and vegetables from India subject to certain conditions:
- The consignment should be free from soil, pests, leaves and other plant debris.
- The origin of the material must be clearly identified on shipping documents
ii.In 2016-17, India’s agro food exports to Canada were $125.5 million, of which fresh mangoes, grapes and other fruit were $2.2 million.
Currency: Canadian Dollar
PM: Justin Trudeau
Severe Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong
Typhoon Hato smashed into Hong Kong on 23rd of Aug 2017 with hurricane force winds and heavy rains in the worst storm the city has seen for five years. Due to this cancellation of hundreds of flights and shutting down the stock market.
i.The storm passed as close as 60 kilometres to Hong Kong and made landfall at noon (0930 IST) in the southern mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
ii.Gusts of up to 207 kilometres per hour brought flying debris, tearing down trees and scaffolding and breaking construction cranes.
iii.Water supply was also limited and 50 flights cancelled from its international airport.
iv.The government had said 34 people had gone to hospital seeking medical treatment related to the typhoon. Around 280 people were taking refuge in temporary shelters.
v.The city saw its strongest storm in 1962 when the eye of typhoon Wanda passed over and gusts of 284 kilometres per hour were recorded.
vi.It killed 130 people and destroyed thousands of residential huts, leaving 72,000 people homeless.
vii.The last time the Typhoon 10 signal was raised in Hong Kong was for Typhoon Vicente in 2012.
Mark Wahlberg named world’s highest-paid actor ,Shahruk khan India’s Highest : Forbes
Forbes has released its list of the world’s 20 highest paid actors of 2017. Mark Wahlberg soared to the top of the world’s highest paid actors on an annual Forbes magazine list.
i.Wahlberg earned an estimated $68 million in 2017.
ii.As per the Forbes list the 10 highest-paid leading men earned a combined $488.5 million before tax in its June 2016-June 2017.
iii.It is nearly three times more than the $172.5 million earned by the top 10 scoring women.
iv.Three of Bollywood’s biggest stars – Shah Rukh Khan ($38 million), Salman Khan ($37 million) and Akshay Kumar ($35.5 million) – took the 8th, 9th and 10th places on the Forbes list, respectively.
v.Wahlberg replaced last year’s top-ranked star, Dwayne Johnson, who comes in at the second spot with $65 million earnings.
vi.On the third spot is The Fate of the Furious star Vin Diesel with $54.5 million earnings.
vii.Rounding out the top five is Adam Sandler at the number four position with $50.5 million and Jackie Chan on number five with $49 million.
BANKING & FINANCE
Asia Index launches S&P BSE Bharat 22
Asia Index Private Ltd has announced the launch of S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index. It has been launched to track the performance of state-run companies in which the central government has divested its stake.
i.The index, as benchmark for “Bharat 22” disinvestment program of the government.
ii.It comprises of 22 select bluechip companies of which:
- 16 are Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE).
- 3 are from Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI)
- 3 are PSU Banks, and are listed on the BSE.
iii.S&P BSE Bharat 22 has been licensed to ICICI Prudential AMC for development of an exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the index.
iv.It covers six sectors namely industrials, finance, utilities, energy, FMCG, basic materials and telecom.
v.The index is represented largely (nearly 89%) by companies from the S&P BSE LargeCap index.
vi.It will be used as vehicle to help support the disinvestment process as well as increasing the passive investing foortprint in India.
Qatar Airways has interline partnership with Vistara
Airline Vistara and Persian Gulf carrier Qatar Airways have entered into an interline partnership. Under this partnership they will provide “through check-in” facility to customers for seamless travel.
i.Qatar Airways currently operates to 13 cities in India from its Doha hub, while the Tata-SIA run joint venture airline Vistara operates to 19 domestic destinations.
ii.The partnership is effective from 22nd of August 2017.
iii.Under the partnership, passengers of Qatar Airways can travel seamlessly on Vistaras domestic flights to and from the Persian Gulf carrier’s global network.
iv.An interline arrangement refers to a pact to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airline.
v.When selling an interline ticket, the operating airlines own flight numbers are used.
vi.The two airlines will provide the through check-in facility and enabling customers to get their boarding passes at the first point of departure for all the travel sectors, both domestic and international, and have their baggage checked-in through to their final destination.
vii.Through the partnership, a seamless flying experience and international luggage allowance would be offered for joint customers from various Indian cities to and from over 150 destinations worldwide on a single ticket.
India grants Pfizer patent on pneumonia vaccine “Prevenar 13”
India has granted US drug giant Pfizer a patent for its Prevenar 13. It is a vaccine that helps prevent cases of pneumonia, one of the leading causes of deaths of children under five years of age. The company said the patent is valid in India until 2026.
i.According to the World Health Organisation Pneumonia killed nearly a million children under the age of five years in 2015 alone.
ii.Prevenar 13 helps prevent pneumococcalpneumonia and infections caused by 13 strains of streptococcus pneumonia bacteria.
iii.According to the 2016 Pneumonia and diarrhoea Progress Report by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health India has seven pneumonia related deaths per 1,000 live births.
iv.This vaccine and GlaxoSmithKline’s Synflorix are the only two pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) available in the country.
v.In the private market, Prevenar 13 is priced at Rs 3,800 per dose and Synflorix at Rs 1,800 per dose. Three doses are required for each child.
vi.Each dose of Prevenar 13 requires 400 different raw materials, 580 manufacturing steps, 678 quality tests and 2.5 years to produce.
vii.According to Pfizer’s 2016 annual report Prevenar 13 has captured 18% of the Indian vaccine market.
viii.Panacea and Serum Institute, which has been working on a PCV 10 vaccine, reportedly expected to price their vaccines for as low as $6 (nearly Rs 400) for all three doses.
ix.Synflorix has captured approximately 65% of India’s private PCV vaccines market and 35% of the overall private Indian vaccines market. It is priced almost 2.5 times lower than competing vaccines
x.Around five states (approximately 5.15 million babies) are expected to be covered in the first phase.
Ashwani Lohani appointed new Chairman of Railway Board
Ashwani Lohani was appointed as the new Chairman of Railway Board after Ashok Mittal tendered his resignation following recent train accidents on 23rd of Aug 2017.
i.Lohani who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, currently is the Chairman & Managing Director of Air India.
ii.Lohani belongs to the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers of the 1980 batch.
iii.Lohani, an officer of the railway mechanical service, had served earlier as the Divisional Regional Manager of Delhi.
iv.He was also ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum in the capital.
v.Lohani holds Limca Book of Records for four engineering degrees in mechanical, electrical, metallurgical and Electronics and Telecommunications streams.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian student develops Nano Missile for Indian Army
A student of Chennai’s SRM University, Dacharla Panduranga Rohith developed a Nano Missile on 21 August 2017 recognised by World Records of India.
i.The basic prototype of the missile was tested in the presence of Assistant Commissioner of Police Ramapuram in Chennai.
ii.The video was submitted to World Records of India for recognition in July 2017.
iii.He developed the missile for the Indian Army and local police in fighting terrorism.
iv.The missile was developed for launch through a robot.
v.This 1 cm nano missile can fly by burning the red phosphorus, and hit the target of three metres distance.
vi.Rohith is now working on the changing the fuel to give more thrust and reduces the weight of the missile so that it can be targeted at longer distances.
vii.Once the project is completed, he will hand over the missile to the DRDO for tests and inclusion in the weaponry of the armed forces.
viii.His interest in flight technologies and missiles led him to serve as a flying cadet in the aero show organised by the Indian Air Force in Vijayawada a few years ago.
Microsoft introduces ‘Project Brainwave’ deep learning platform for real-time AI
Microsoft has introduced “Project Brainwave”. It is a deep learning acceleration platform that will enable faster system processes with ultra-low latency.
i.The ‘Project Brainwave’ uses the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure.
ii.The system architecture reduces latency, since the CPU does not need to process incoming requests, and allows very high throughput, with the FPGA processing requests as fast as the network can stream them.
iii.The system has been architected to yield high actual performance across a wide range of complex models, with batch-free execution.
iv.The system is designed for real-time AI and can handle complex, memory-intensive models such as Long Short Term Memories (LSTM).
v.Project Brainwave achieves unprecedented levels of demonstrated real-time AI performance on extremely challenging models.
New frog species with pig face discovered in Western Ghats
Indian scientists have discovered Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi, a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose, just like a pig in Westen Ghats.
i.Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi species show comparisons with the Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus Sahyadrensis) which was discovered in 2003 in Seychelles.
ii.It is soiled-dwelling species of purple frog. It inhabits the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
iii.The discovery was published in Alytes, a scientific journal devoted to the study of frogs and amphibians.
iv.The species was discovered by scientists from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
v.The frog has been named after the Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy, who died in 2014.
vi.It is dark brown in colour and each of its calls consists of four distinct pulses while the Purple frog pauses once between three pulses call.
International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup Shotgun 2017
A total of 220 athletes from 33 countries will take part in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup Shotgun event at Porpetto in Italy. A 23-member Indian squad will take part in the competition.
i.On August 20,2017 Shapath Bharadwaj from india won a bronze medal in the double trap event while Lakshay Sheoran and Manisha Keer combined to win a bronze in the mixed team trap competition at the ISSF Junior Shotgun World Cup.
ii.Lakshay Sheoran and Manisha Keer from India won the bronze medal in the mixed team trap competition of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup for shotgun.
iii.India’s Akash Saharan has completed sixth in the final round of the men’s trap event at the ISSF Junior Shotgun World Cup.
24th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival 2017
Abu Dhabi Chess Festival Committee has conducted the 24th chess annual event, which consists of numerous FIDE registered tournaments. It was conducting in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE from 13th to 23rd of August, 2017.
GM Amin Bassem of Egypt is winner, Briton GM Nigel Short was runner-up and GM Aryan Chopra from India finished third in Masters Tournament.
- Masters Tournament
- Open Tournament
- Juniors Tournament (under 16 years)
- Blitz tournament
- Simultaneous exhibition
- Homeland protector’s tournament
- Family Team Tournament
India’s GM Harika Dronavalli finished a disastrous 29th, even as 15-year-old GM Aryan Chopra finished a creditable third at the 24th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival on August 22nd,2017.
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition was observed across the world on 23rd August 2017.
i.International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was proclaimed by UNESCO Executive Board through its Resolution 29 C/40.
ii.The Day was first celebrated in a number of countries, particularly in Haiti on 23 August 1998 and at Goree in Senegal in 23 August 1999.
iii.The Day marks the anniversary of the 1791 revolt of enslaved men and women in the western part of the island of Santo Domingo, which is now known as Haiti.
iv.This Haitian Revolution led to their freedom and independence in 1804.
v.This revolt was a turning point in human history.
Former Manipur CM Rishang Keishing passes way
Rishang Keishing, the grand old man of Manipur, who had also served as an MLA for seven terms and became chief minister of the state four times, passed away at Imphal, on 22nd of Aug 2017. He was 97.
i.He was a member of the first Lok Sabha in 1952.
ii.He was born to Rungdi Keishing and Mungshing Keishing of Bungpa Khunou village in Ukhrul district of Manipur on 25th October 1920.
iii.He continued to win the next two Lok Sabha elections from Manipur Outer constituency in 1957 and 1962 as a Socialist Party candidate.
iv.While he first became a minister in 1975, he was sworn in as chief minister of Manipur for the first time on 27th November 1980.
v.In 2002, Keishing was elected to Rajya Sabha from the lone Manipur seat, and was re-elected in 2008.
New Zealand’s oldest cricketer Tom Pritchard dies aged 100
Tom Pritchard the former fast bowler from New Zealand has died aged 100 on 22nd August 2017.
i.He hailed from New Zealand. Pritchard had played 200 first-class matches, picking 818 wickets.
ii.He was considered to be one of the finest fast bowlers, precisely known for his right-arm outswingers.
iii.He played most of his first-class cricket in England.
iv.Pritchard was a genuinely fast right-arm bowler and a useful lower order right-handed batsman who played in several matches for Wellington before the Second World War.
Science fiction author Brian Aldiss dies aged 92
Brian Aldiss, the “grand old man” of science fiction has died at the age of 92. He was from United Kingdom.
i.Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II.
ii.He later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine.