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Current Affairs Today August 31 2017

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs of August 31 2017 which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, India Today, Indian Express, Business Standard, all Government official websites. Our complete current affairs helps you to get more marks in Banking, insurance, UPSC, SSC, CLAT, Railway and all other competitive Exams.

Current-Affairs-Today-August-31-2017Indian Affairs

Government approves first phase of Army reforms
Indian-Army-SoldierOn 30th august ,2017, The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved implementation of the first phase of recommendations of Shekatkar Committee. This committee was formed to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces with an aim to increase “teeth to tail ratio”, It had given 99 recommendations to the government on December 2016, out of which the Ministry of Defence has decided to implement 65 suggestions in phased manner..…………Click here to view more detail

Government to release new industrial policy

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the commerce and industry ministry will release a new industrial policy by October, it will focus on encouraging Indian branded products with high value addition at a global level, and will review the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy regime to facilitate greater technology transfer. Recently on august 29th, DIPP released consolidated FDI policy.

The new policy is expected to replace the United Progressive Alliance government’s National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) 2011, which sought to create 100 million jobs by 2022……………Click here to view more detail

Arunachal Pradesh, J&K are fastest growing economies: Central Statistics Office
economicOn 30th august ,2017, Central Statistics Office(CSO) published new series of gross State Domestic Product (SDP) data with 2011-12 as the base year. According to it Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh were the fastest expanding State economies in 2015-16. Comparison between states plays a healthy role in promoting competitive federalismthereby promoting fair competition. On the whole, the national economy expanded by 8 per cent in 2015-16 at constant 2011-12 prices.
Highlights: –

  • Arunachal Pradesh’s gross State domestic product (GSDP) expanded to 16.5 per cent and that of Jammu and Kashmir 14.7 per cent at constant 2011-12 prices.
  • The economies of bigger States such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh expanded about 8-8.5 per cent that year.Top 5 States: –
    1)  Maharashtra remains the largest State economy, with its size estimated at ₹16,59,776.05 crores (₹16.6 lakh crore) at constant 2011-12 prices.
    2)The second-biggest State economy is Tamil Nadu, estimated at ₹9,48,673.85 crores.
    3) Gujarat’s economy was estimated at ₹9,01,375.28 crores
    4) Uttar Pradesh at ₹9,01,256.8 crores.
    5) Karnataka was the fifth largest with an estimated size of ₹8,14,802.64 at constant 2011-12 prices.
    These five States together account for about 46 per cent of the nation’s GDP.
    Growth estimates for West Bengal, compiled by the State’s directorate of economics and statistics, are still under examination by the CSO, and have therefore not been published. Compilation of the growth data for 2016-17 is not yet complete, as only 18States and Union Territories have reported their numbers to the CSO..….…………Click here to view more detail

Ministry of Railways Signs two MoUs with Switzerland
The Ministry of Railways has signed two MoUs with Switzerland on 31st of Aug 2017. It has been signed between Ministry of Railways and Swiss Confederation.
Key Points:MoU
The first MoU is between Ministry of Railways and Federal Department of the Environment, Transport and Communications of the Swiss Confederation for technical cooperation in Rail Sector. 
ii.This was signed in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs. Doris Leuthard by Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman Railway Board and Dr. Andreas Baum, Swiss Ambassador to India.
iii.The MoU aims at cooperation in the areas of:
(a)Traction Rolling stock
(b)Freight and Passenger Cars
(c)EMU and Train sets
(d)Traction Propulsion Equipments
(e) Railway Electrification Equipments
(f) Railway Station modernization
(g)Tilting Trains
(h)Train scheduling and operation improvement
(i)Multimodal transport
(j)Tunneling technology
Glimpse about second MoU
iv.The second MoU is between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich.
v.This was signed by Shri Sanjay Gupta, CMD/KRCL and Prof. Sarah Springman, Rector, ETH Zurich.
vi.It will help Konkan Railway in establishing the George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology (GFITT) at Goa especially for grasping and distribution of knowledge in the field of tunneling.
vii.GFITT aims to generate qualified and trained personnel for the benefit of other Government organisations, private sector and even foreign organizations.

Fourth Session of India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee held in New Delhi
The Fourth Session of the India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in New Delhi on 29th Aug, 2017.
Key Points:
i.The Indian delegation was led by Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman. TheTanzanian delegation was led by the Industry, Trade and Investment Mr. Charles John Mwijage.
ii.With an investment of US $ 2.2 billionTanzania is among the top 5 investment destinations for India.
iii.The potential areas for Tanzania in India include Light oils and petroleum or bituminous minerals, motor cars and vehicles, medicaments etc Similarly, Metals and Minerals, dried cashew nuts in shells from Tanzania are required in India.
iv.The Indian Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme of which Tanzania is a beneficiary has boosted considerably Tanzanian export to India in recent years.
v.India and Tanzania agreed to enhance sectoral co-operation based on respective needs and comparative advantage for mutual benefit.
vi.The liberal visa regime facilitates trade and investments. Visa on arrival is available in Tanzania though only for a three-month period.
vii.During the discussions, it was mentioned that long-term (at least one year visas) for reputed business companies with multi-entry facility will be helpful to promote investments and business collaboration between the two countries.
About Tanzania
Capital: Dodoma
President: John Mangufuli
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling

India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue& India-EU Cyber Dialogue held in New Delhi
The 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue was held at New Delhi on 30th Aug 2017.
Key Points:
i.The Indian delegation was led by Shri Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary for Counter Terrorism at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, while the European Union’s delegation was led by Mr. Pawel Herczynski, Director for Security Policy, European External Action Service.
ii.The next India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue will take place in Brussels in 2018.
iii.Both sides had exchanged views and assessments on prevailing terrorist threats in their respective regionsincluding state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism in the Af-Pak region.
iv.The discussions included regarding the current challenges posed by various terrorist entities, radicalisation and violent extremism, Foreign Terrorist Fighters and combating financing of terrorism.
v.Prospects for deepening counter-terrorism cooperation under the UN and FATF were also emphasised.
vi.They agreed to strengthen institutional linkages between Indian agencies and their European Union counterparts including Europol for closer interaction and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
About European Union
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.

Amazon to help implement Karnataka government’s ‘Ksheera Bhagya’ Scheme
Amazon has announced a partnership with the Akshaya Patra Foundation to implement the Karnataka government’s ‘Ksheera Bhagya’ Scheme in Bengaluru on 30th Aug 2017.
Key Notes:
i.Under this scheme schoolchildren would be provided a glass of milk each five days a week.
ii.The partnership aims to reach out to 170,000 children across 1,300 government schools in the state.
iii.The scheme is developed by Karnataka Milk Federation on Chief Minister’s (Siddaramaiah) to help poor children by providing them nutritious food essential for healthy growth and all-round development of schoolchildren.
iv.The Ksheera Bhagya Scheme was launched by the Congress government in 2013 to provide nutrition through milk to students of government schools and anganwadis across the state.
v.Children studying in classes 1 to 10 and those in anganwadis are the benefeciaries.
About Amazon   
Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington.
It was founded by Jeff Bezos on 5th July 1994.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal launches Common Food Processing Incubation Center for Shallots in Perambalur, Tamilnadu
Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has inaugurated a unit to process small onions in Perambalur district in Tamil Nadu on 31st Aug 2017.
Key Points:
i.With this new unit it will help farmers of this region to earn extra income.
ii.The unit, set up at Chettikulam village at a cost of Rs 1 crore, will process small onions to produce vacuum packed peeled onion, onion paste, onion flakes and onion powder.
iii.While vacuum packed peeled onion will last for 1 month (under refrigeration), the shelf life of Onion powder will be 6 months, onion paste 5 months and onion flakes 6 months.
iv.Farmers in Perambalur district are producing 70,000 tonnes of shallots per year in a cultivation area of 8,000 hectares land.
v.Perambalur is the hub of small onions. Farmers of this region had suffered huge losses due to lack of post harvest handling facilities.
vi.This unit will ensure that small onions do not get waste and increase farmers income.
vii.The institute has decided to take one crop per year and develop processing technologies and related infrastructure for that crop.
viii.IIFPT is working on Mission Coconut, which will be launched next year on World Coconut Day (2nd September 2018).
ix.Mission Banana was implemented in the previous year and this year it is Mission Onion.
About Tamil Nadu
Capital: Chennai
CM: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao

Indian Government gives 20 Sri Lankan students scholarships
The Government of India has given scholarship for 20 Sri Lankan students to study Hindi at the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan (Central Institute of Hindi) in Agra.
Key Points:
i.The Government of India has sponsored their visit, academic fees and local hospitality for one year in Agra.
ii.Hindi is the most popular foreign language in Sri Lanka and is being taught in almost 80 institutions all over the island.
iii.High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka is Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
iv.Students selected for this scholarship are from the University of Kelaniya, Buddhist and Pali University, University of Jayawardanepura; Indian cultural Centre, Colombo; Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Kandy and other educational and cultural institutions of Sri Lanka.
About Srilanka
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (Administrative)
Colombo (Commercial)
President: Maithripala Sirisena
PM: Ranil Wickremesinghe

International Affairs

BRICS Innovative Competitiveness Report 2017
On 29th august ,2017, BRICS Innovative Competitive Report 2017 was released by China Science and Technology Exchange Centre. The report says India is expected to surpass China in innovation competitiveness between 2025-2030. At present, China is the leading BRICS nation in innovation competitiveness. The report is a huge confidence booster for Indian government’s efforts at improving the innovation environment in the recent years.

  • The report predicts that growth rate of Russia would also fall in coming years and India would take over Russia in terms of its comprehensive STI (Science Technology and Innovation) competitiveness by 2030.

About BRICS: –

  • South Africa was inducted in this group in 2010.
  • 2016 BRICS summit was held at Goa.
  • 2017 BRICS summit will take place at Xiamen,China  3-5 September 2017….…………Click here to view more detai

U.S. gives $225 million worth of conditional military assistance to Pakistan
The Trump administration has given $ 225 million worth of conditional military assistance to Pakistan that the country can access only if it takes more action against terror groups announced on 31st of Aug 2017.
Key Points:
i.The announcement comes over a week after President Donald Trump hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror groups that kill Americans in Afghanistan.
ii.The US insists that it wants Pakistan to take action against terrorist groups.
iii.The President has been clear that we are looking to the Pakistani government to take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region.
iv.It is important to US interests that Pakistan prevents terrorist sanctuaries.
v.The US has provided Pakistan more than USD 33 billion help since 2002.

Banking & Finance

Freyr Energy ties up with Axis Bank
Solar energy services company Freyr Energy has tied up with Axis Bank announced on 31st Aug 2017.
Key Notes:
i.It will offer term loans ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for tenures up to five years, for solar rooftop installations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
ii.The loans will be given to MSMEs and self-employed individuals to install Freyr rooftop solar plants for industrial and commercial purposes.
iii.This loan programme will help MSMEs significantly to reduce their electricity bills.
iv.Around Past three years, Freyr installed over 800 solar systems across 14 States in India and Ghana.
About Axis Bank
Apps of Axis Bank
Asha Home Loan
Kisan Card

SEBI bans Orion Capital, Orion Broking from markets for 10 yrs
Markets regulator SEBI has barred Orion Capital as well as Orion Broking and their partners from the securities markets for 10 years announced on 29th of Aug 2017.
Key Points:
i.They have been barred for failing to redress several investor grievances related to non- settlement of funds due to the clients.
ii.The claim amount is more than Rs 6 crore against Orion Capital and over Rs 4 crore against Orion Broking.
iii.According to SEBI Whole-Time Member S Raman the two firms and their partners have failed to act in accordance with the requirements of the stock brokers regulations.
iv.Arbitration Awards were passed against Orion Capital and Orion Broking and none of the Awards has been implemented by the notices.
v.They have also been barred from alienating any of their assets in any form till the full settlements of claims of its investors are affected.
About SEBI
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.
Chairman: Ajay Tyagi
HQ: Mumbai Maharashtra

Appointments & Resigns

Rajiv Gauba appointed as Union Home Secretary
Rajiv Gauba has appointed as Union Home Secretary for fixed two year tenure announced on 31st Aug 2017.
Key Points:rajiv-gauva
i.Gauba replaced Rajiv Mehrishi. He is a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre.
ii.Gauba would be dealing with issues like internal security, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, Maoist problems in the central and east India besides other issues.
iii.He was born in Punjab in 1958, Gauba graduated in Physics from Patna University.
iv.In his previous term as additional secretary in Home Ministry, Gauba looked after the Left-Wing Extremism division.
v.He served in Jharkhand as the chief secretary for 15 months before joining the central government.
vi.He has previously worked in the central government’s ministries of home, defence, finance and environment and forests in different positions.
vii.Gauba has also represented India on the board of International Monetary Fund for four years.

Indian Hotels appoints Puneet Chhatwal as MD and CEOPuneet Chhatwal
Tata group hospitality firm Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has appointed Puneet Chhatwal as its Managing Director and CEO announced on 29th Aug 2017.
Key Points:
i.Chhatwal is currently Chief Executive and Member of Executive Board of Duetsche Hospitality/Steinberger Hotels AG.
ii.He will take over from Rakesh Sarna , who is stepping down on 30th Sep 2017.

Science & Technology

IIT Researchers develops bioartificial implantable pancreas
Researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has successfully created an implantable bioartificial pancreas model grown within a 3D silk scaffold.
Key Points:
i.The silk scaffold was found to be biocompatible (not toxic to living tissue) as it did not trigger any immune reaction or cause any adverse reaction when implanted.
ii.The “pancreas” which encapsulates insulin-producing cells, is capable of naturally producing insulin in a sustained manner.
iii.Since type 1 diabetes patients do not have insulin-producing beta cells for this the researchers have turned to stem cells to produce beta cells.
iv.The team coated the scaffold containing beta cells with a semi-permeable membrane barrier.
v.The membrane allows insulin produced to be released into the blood stream.
vi.However, it does not allow the immune cells to cross the membrane and kill the islet cells.
vii.To ensure that the implant is not rejected by the body’s immune system, drugs that suppress the immune system were embedded in the scaffold.
viii.The researchers are planning to carry out trials in animals.
ix.If successful in animal and human trials, it can be used for treating people with type 1 diabetes.

Youtube changes its Logo for the First Time 
YouTube has announced and introduced some major design changes in its iconic logo for its desktop and mobile apps. 
Key Points:
i.It has been changed for the first time in 12 years. In the new logo, YouTube is simply brought about in black text with its iconic red play button.
ii.The red in YouTube’s logo is now brighter so that it will be seen more easily and read more clearly.
iii.The new redesign is available on both iOS and Android. There is a new Library and Accounts tab as well.
iv.The header on the YouTube app now has a white background along with the new logo visible on the left.
v.The navigation tabs have been moved to the bottom of the app which is already available on the iOS version.
vi.YouTube had also introduced a gesture for fast forwarding or rewinding by double tapping the left and right side of the video.
vii.You Tube will also add new feature and able to swipe left to watch a previous video, and swipe right to watch the next one.
viii.YouTube will introduce square and vertical formats for watching videos.
About You Tube
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California.
Founded on 14th Feb 2005
CEO: Susan Wojcicki

U.S. approves first gene therapy for cancer
United States has approved the first gene therapy in the nation on 30th of Aug 2017. It is a treatment that uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight childhood leukaemia.
Key Points:
.The treatment is made by Novartis and is called Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel).
ii.This type of immunotherapyknown as a CAR-T cell therapy, was known by the term CTL019 until now.
iii.It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children and young adult patients up to the age of 25 with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
iv.Studies have shown that 83% of patients responded to the treatment, achieving remission within three months.
v.The treatment is not a pill or a form of chemotherapy. It uses a patient’s own immune cells, called T-cells, along with white blood cells.
vi.These cells are removed from a patient and sent to a lab then encoded with a viral vector, reprogrammed and returned to the patient.