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Current Affairs Today – August 8 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs of August 8 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.

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Government gives funds to States/UTs under NAM to develop AYUSH System of Medicine
On August 8, 2017, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Mr. Shripad Yesso Naik, informed that during the year 2016-17, central Government released Rs. 41711.849 lakhs fund to State/UT Governments under National AYUSH Mission (NAM). Abbreviation AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
i. For special Category states (NE States and three hilly States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir), grant-in-aid component is 90% from Govt. of India and remaining 10% is to be the State contribution towards all components under the scheme. For other States/UTs the sharing pattern is 75% : 25%.
ii. Supporting the cultivation of medicinal plants is financed 100% by Central Government in North Eastern State and hilly State of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir where as in other states it is shared in the ratio of 90:10 between Centre and States.

Maharashtra Government to raise $270 mn from Green Climate Fund
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG) will help the Maharashtra Government to raise $270 million from the Green Climate Fund, which will be invested in integrated watershed programmes in the state
i. For raising money from the Green Climate Fund, Maharashtra State Level Climate Change Committee will endorse the proposal next week, after which it would be referred to the Central Government.
ii. The approvals will be in place in early 2018 and it could take a year to get the funding.Fund will also be used in crop diversification and adding market linkages.

Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaign
In a bid to eliminate measles and curb instances of rubella by 2020, Union Government has rolled out the second phase of its measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country.
i. Union Health Ministry’s campaign against these two diseases intends to cover approximately 41 crore children in a phased manner, making it the largest-ever worldwide.
ii. In the second phase, nearly 3.4 crore children across eight states and union territories — Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu — will be covered.

Dawn of cruise tourism in India inaugurated in Mumbai
The dawn of cruise tourism in India was inaugurated in Mumbai on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. There is the launch of three reports, “Mumbai Port SoP’s for cruise operations”, “Road map for Sea cruise tourism” and “Cruise terminals in India”.
ii.Mumbai Port and Ministry of shipping to host cruise vessels in the country is revealed to a worldwide audience at the event.
iii .According to the reports, this initiative would gain potential revenue close to Rs. 35000 crore for all stakeholders.
iv. With this new initiative, Promotion of cruise tourism is expected to create over 2, 50,000 jobs and number of cruise ships visiting India could go up from 158 per year to 955 per year.
v. It includes greater transparency, lesser red tape-ism, result oriented time bound target completion.
vi. Nitin Gadkari is the current Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping.

Meeting of Regional Technical Group on Trade, Commerce and Investment CBM of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process held in New Delhi
The 8th meeting of the Regional Technical Group of Confidence Building Measure on Trade, Commerce & Investment Opportunities under the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was hosted by India.
Key Points:
i. The India would be the Lead Country. The meeting was held in New Delhi on 7th of August 2017.
ii. The meeting was attended by representatives of 17 participating countries and supporting international organisations.
iii. The participants shared the view that Afghanistan acted as a natural bridge in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration.
iv. There was an agreement that economic development was an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia Region.
v. The participants had also discussed on various measures and plan to promote transit and trade and realizing reliable and robust connectivity, with Afghanistan as the hub.
vi. The recent establishment of the air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan was also welcomed.
vii. It will provide quick and assured access to farmers of Afghanistan to the large markets in South Asia.
viii. India’s assistance for capacity building and training of Afghan officials, including on PPP mode of project implementation; and the WTO related matter, programmes were conducted by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce, Government of India.
ix. The initiative by India to develop a web portal, with participation of FICCI, for exchanging information on regional markets, trade and investment opportunities; and facilitating networking between businesses for the participating countries was also appreciated.
x. The steps taken for development of transit and transport through Chahbahar Port involving India, Afghanistan and Iran, TAPI gas pipeline, CASA-1000, TAT railway line, Lapis Lazuli corridor were assessed positively.
xi. The meeting was co-chaired by the Acting Director General, Economic Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Joint Secretary and Ministry of External Affairs.

Centre declares entire Assam as “disturbed area” under AFSPA under another month
The Centre has declared the entire Assam as a “disturbed” area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, the AFSPA for three more months.
Key Points:
i. The Home Ministry has said the entire Assam, besides bordering areas of Meghalaya, have been declared “disturbed” under the AFSPA for three months with effect from 3rd of May.
ii. There were 75 incidents of violence in Assam in 2016 in which 33 people, including four security personnel, were killed and 14 others were kidnapped.
iii. There were also nine violent incidents in the state in which four people, including two security personnel, were killed in 2017.
iv. The violence were committed by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others.
v. The ministry also declared three districts of Arunachal Pradesh – Tirap, Changlang and Longding – besides areas falling under 16 police stations bordering Assam as “disturbed” area under the AFSPA for three more months.
vi. The AFSPA has been under force in the three Arunachal Pradesh districts since January 2016.
National Parks in Assam :
♦ Kaziranga National Park- built in 1974
♦ Manas National Park-built in 1990
♦ Dibru-Saikhowa National Park- built in 1999

Coconut regains tree status in Goa as Assembly Passes Bill
The Goa Legislative Assembly has passed a bill which regain coconut as a `tree, ensuring legal protection for it on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The Assembly, on the last day of Monsoon session has passed the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of) Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees and reclassify it as tree.
ii. Goa Forward Party which is a partner in the Manohar Parrikar-led government, had promised to reclassify coconut.
iii. The previous Laxmikant Parsekar-led government had changed classification of coconut tree to a `palm.
About Goa
♦ Capital: Panaji
♦ Governor: Mridula Sinha
♦ CM: Manohar Parrikar

Dahi Handi festival: Children under 14 years of age not allowed to participate, says Bombay HC
The Bombay High Court has accepted Maharashtra government’s statement that it would not allow children under the age of 14 years to participate in the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival on 7th of august 2017.
Key Points:
i. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that as per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, children below 14 years of age will not be allowed to participate in the festival.
ii. Since the government had in August last year declared ‘Dahi Handi’ as an adventure sport.
iii. The court heard two petitions filed by city residents, raising concerns over the participation of minors in the festival and lack of safety measures, due to which several unforeseen incidents occur.
iv. In 2014, the high court had passed an order saying children below the age of 18 years cannot participate in the festival, and had also imposed a height restriction of 20 feet for the pyramids.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India to MGC nations – Expand areas of cooperation
On August 7, 2017, at Eighth Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines, India called for expanding the areas of cooperation among the member countries of the bloc to further deepen mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh represented India at this meeting.
i. India has proposed to add newer areas of cooperation to the traditional areas on tourism, culture, education, transport and communication.
ii. Mr Singh said, after successfully organising the International Buddhist Conclave in Varanasi in 2016, India wants to make this an annual activity.

BUSINESS

Bajaj Auto ties up with Triumph to make mid-capacity motorcycles
Bajaj Auto has announced a partnership with Triumph Motorcycles UK on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The aim of this partnership is to deliver a range of outstanding mid-capacity motorcycles.
ii. Triumph will benefit from this partnership by expanding its global reach and entering new higher volume markets while Bajaj will in return, gain access to Triumph’s motorcycles and technology.
iii. It will include brand position and perception, design and development technology, quality and cost competitiveness and worldwide distribution.
iv. The partnership will significantly expand its global reach by entering new higher volume market segments, especially within the emerging markets across the world.
v. It will enable to offer a wide range of motorcycles within its domestic market and other international markets.

Flipkart to launch ” Budding Star Programme ” for staff”
Flipkart is going to launch a programme under which the e-commerce major will provide financial assistance to employees. It has been announced on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The programme will cover all national and international sports and non-sports competitors recognized by the govt. authorities.
ii. It will not support regional or state-level competitions and leisure or tourist activities.
iii. Flipsters who have completed six months with the company are eligible for the ‘Budding Star Programme’.
iv. This programme will allow Flipsters to pursue their passion beyond work.
v. Those shortlisted based on evaluation by an internal company panel will get up to `3 lakh in assistance.
About Flipkart
♦ Founded on 2007
♦ HQ: Banglore, Karnataka
♦ CEO: Kalyan Krishnamurthy

ONGC plans to invest $150 million in Colombia,Kazakhstan & Bangladesh
ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp has planned to invest $150 million in exploration to drill more wells in Colombia, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.
Key Points:
i. ONGC Videsh, which operates the CPO-5 block of Colombia, has made a commercial discovery in its exploration well Mariposa-1.
ii. The company is also making up plans for the development of the Mariposa-1well that has begun a test production of 4,500 barrels per day.
iii. ONGC has 70% participating interest in CPO-5 block in which the remaining 30% stake in held by Amerisur Resources of UK.
iv. ONGC has participating interest in a total of six blocks in Colombia. It includes a producing block whose current output is 35,000 barrels per day.
v. Drilling has begun in the Kazakhstan block in the Caspian Sea while preparations are on to drill the first well in Bangladesh.
vi. The output is expected to rise further 15% in the current fiscal year to 14.35 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe)-Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent.
vii. The company has also entered Namibia’s oil and gas sector with a purchase of 30% interest from Tullow Oil in the African country’s three oil blocks.
viii .This would help push up oil production from the field by 4000 barrels/day from the current 7000 barrels/day.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Dev Patel to be honoured with Asia Society Game Changers Award
Indian-origin actor Dev Patel is to be honoured by a leading educational organisation for making a “transformative and positive” difference for the future of Asia and the world.
Key Points:
i. Patel was born in London who became popular with his debut film “Slumdog Millionaire”.
ii. He will be felicitated with the Asia Society 2017 Asia Game Changers Award at a ceremony to be held at the United Nations, New York, in November.
iii. He was recently seen in Garth Davis “Lion”, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for the best actor in a supporting role.
iv. Patel will next be seen in “Hotel Mumbai”, a drama centered around the 26/11 terror attacks.
v. His “#lionheart” campaign raised over USD 2,50,000 in support of India’s millions of homeless children.
vi. The Asia Game Changer lifetime achievement award will be given to Aga Khan, Founder of the Aga Khan Development Network for using philanthropy to lift millions of Asia’s most vulnerable.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Indian-American appointed deputy comptroller for minority affairs of Nassau County
Indian-American Dilip Chauhan has been appointed Deputy Comptroller to the minority affairs in Nassau County announced on 8th August 2017.
Key Points:
i. Chauhan had joined the Comptroller’s office in 2015 as Director for Community Affairs, South and East Asia.
ii. He has served as senior advisor to the Comptroller since early 2017.
iii. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
iv. Chauhan has been recognised with numerous awards for his community service.
v. He would continue to support the Comptroller’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for minority and women owned enterprises to do business with Nassau County.
vi. Chauhan is an active member of the Indian community in the New York area.
vii. The Nassau County and the Comptroller’s Office has been a driving force in advocating for increased business opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Enterprises (MWBEs).

Health and wellness startup cure.fi signed Hrithik Roshan as brand Ambassador
Hritik Roshan has been signed as a brand ambassador by a health and wellness startup Cure.fit announced on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The deal is worth Rs 100 crore. The actor will be associated with the brand for five years.
ii. Roshan’s deal with Cure.fit is the latest among startups signing on celebrities for brand recall and positioning. 
iii. Cure.fit will soon be launched as a mobile app is expected to rake in Rs 250-crore annual business in the coming years.
iv. The company will soon launch do-it-yourself format for the HRX workout.
v. He will also be promoting Cure.fit’s philosophy of a healthy lifestyle.
vi. The deal also includes the actor’s equity stake in the company in lieu of cash investment, promotions and royalty from his personal brand HRX’s specialised workout plan.
vii. Roshan has started selling fashion products under HRX brand exclusively on Myntra which also acquired a 51% stake in the brand.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Netflix buys comic book publisher Millarworld in company’s first ever acquistion
Online entertainment platform Netflix has announced that it has acquired Millarworld, a comic book company. 
Key Points:
i. The two companies will bring Millarworld’s portfolio of character franchises to life through films, series and children’s shows available exclusively to Netflix members.
ii. Netflix is the leading platform globally with 104 million members in over 190 countries.
iii. It offers over 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. 
iv. Millar developed the comic books and story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Logan (Wolverine),” which collectively grossed over $3 billion at the global box office.
v. Millar world was started the company and its co-creators have created 18 published character worlds.

ENVIRONMENT

Two new species of Cycas discovered
Research conducted on a tree found in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in West Bengal has revealed two new species of Cycas to the world.
i. Cycas are one of the most ancient plants whose fossils date to the Jurassic period and are often referred to as “living fossils”.
ii. Research based on morphological and anatomical characters of this tree led to the discovery of new species of Cycas pschannae and, later, Cycas dharmrajii in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
iii. The species were named after scientists Paramjit Singh Channa and Dharmraj S. Mishra.
iv. This discovery takes the number of Cycas species found in India to 14.

India’s first micro forest being built in Chhattisgarh
The land of 19 acres of land which housed around 70 government office buildings in Chattisgarh’s Raipur is being converted into India’s first micro forest to create an oxy-zone.
Key Points:
i. This move is mainly to create an oxyzone in the midst of packed houses in the heart of the city.
ii. Under this, they will plant trees and also creating their own microcosmic forest.
iii. The micro forest will provide fresh air to Raipur which is the 7th most polluted city in the world.
iv. It will be open to the public in the next 8 months.
About Chhattisgarh
♦ Capital: Raipur
♦ Governor: Balram das Tandon
♦ CM: Dr. Raman Singh

SPORTS

Ravindra Jadeja becomes No.1 test all- rounder in the ICC 2017 rankings
In the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, Ravindra Jadeja has been ranked as World No. 1 all-rounder after eclipsing Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.
i. Following his Man-of-the-Match performance of 70 not out and seven wickets to help top-ranked India beat Sri Lanka by an innings in Colombo on August 6, 2017, Jadeja has displaced Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasanto claim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for all-rounder for the first time in his career.
ii. The other Indian cricketers to make upwards movements are batsmen Cheteshwar Pujaraand Ajinkya Rahane, who each scored centuries in Colombo.
iii. India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has attained a career-best 44th position after moving up four places, and fast bowlers Mohammed Shami (20th) and Umesh Yadav (22nd) have also gained.

OBITUARY

Ex-MP Vishvjit P Singh passed away
On August 8, 2017, Rajya Sabha mourned the death of its former member Vishvjit P Singh.
i. When the House met for the day, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned the passing away of Vishvjit Singh on August 6, 2017 at the age of 71.
ii. He had represented Maharashtra for two consecutive terms from April 1982 to April 1988 and April 1988 to April 1994.
iii. Hamid Ansari mentioned that in the passing away of Shri Vishvjit P Singh, the country has lost a distinguished Parliamentarian.

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