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Current Affairs Today – August 9 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs of August 9 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 to expand Logistics Data Bank project to South India
Government will soon expand operation of Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project to India’s southern region. So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor.
i. Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project was unveiled in July 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mumbai with an aim to bring efficiency in the current Logistics & Supply Chain environment through use of information technology that would be helpful for tracking and viewing the movement of containers across the port.
ii. The LDB is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Logistics Data Services Ltd. (DLDSL) — that is jointly (50:50) owned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust and Japanese IT services major NEC Corporation.

NITI Aayog partners with 6 states to transform Health & Education sectors
On August 8, 2017, NITI Aayog announced partnership with six states (with three states for health sector reforms and three states for education sector reforms) under its Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative. 
i. NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States.
ii. For Education sector, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes.

Government constitute committee to make drugs more affordable
Government has constituted a committee of joint secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens announced on the parliament on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients.
ii. The committee would also review the scope of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order.
iii. The panel will also look at procedural improvements and process of re-engineering in NPPA to ensure better and quicker implementation of the government policy.
iv. It will bring greater transparency so as to reduce litigations and review petitions.

Kerela,Haryana top sanitation survey
According to the survey, almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana had access to a toilet report published on 9th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The survey is released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and was carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI).
iiBihar and Uttar Pradesh has least access to toilets compared to other states.
iii. Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets.
iv. The Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses
Worst performers
i. In Bihar, only 30% of the rural households had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%
ii. Jharkhand has also scored the same as Uttar Pradesh.

Dhaka to open diplomatic station in Chennai
Bangladesh will open a new diplomatic station in Chennai. It is likely to focus on medical tourism and educational centres that drew thousands of Bangladesh citizens to India every year.
Key Points:
i. The main focus will be to address the needs of Bangladeshi citizens who visit India for medical and educational purposes.
ii. Medical treatment will include super-specialty treatment of kidney, eye and neurological issues available in southern India which draws Bangladeshi citizens to India in large numbers.
iii. The country is going to open 17 new diplomatic missions across the world, including the new one in Chennai.
iv. Bangladesh emerged as the largest overseas user of India’s health services sector during 2015-16.
v. Reports suggest that out of the 4,60,000 foreign patients treated in Indian hospitals, nearly 165,000 were from Bangladesh.
vi. During the April visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, both sides also concluded an agreement to help family members of the veterans of the 1971 war get medical treatment in Indian hospitals.
About Bangladesh
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Taka
♦ PM: Sheikh Hasina

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol
India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol announced on 9th of August 2017 that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action.
Key Points:
i. India’s Permanent Mission to the Unmentioned that India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Convention on Climate Change.
ii. India has submitted instrument of acceptance of Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol.
iii. India has become the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.
About Kyoto Protocol

♦ The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.
♦ The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
♦ The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012.
♦ The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Qatar in December 2012.
♦ According to the UNFCCC website the amendment includes new commitments for parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from January 2013 to December 2020.
♦ It has also provided revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period.

India ranks 43rd in Global Retirement Index
India ranked 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI). It is published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
Key Points:
i. The index ranks total 43 countries on the basis of four factors:
(a)The material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being)
(b) Access to quality health services (Health)
(c) Access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances)
(d) Clean and safe environment (Quality of Life)
ii. The top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland.
iii
. The 43 countries include members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).
iv. The purpose of the index is to provide a global benchmark for retirees and future retirees so that they can evaluate and compare the suitability of various nations, and plan their retirement according to their expectations and needs

Citizens of 80 countries including India don’t require visa to enter QATAR
The Qatari government has announced that citizens belonging to 80 countries including India, Canada, US and UK can now enter Qatar without the need of applying for a visa.
Key Points:
i. It has been stated that the visitors from the selected countries would be issued a multi-entry waiver, completely free-of-charge, at the point of entry upon presentation of a valid passport.
ii. The passport will have a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
iii. The waiver will either be valid for 180 days or for 30 days, depending upon the nationality of the visitor.
iv. The visitor would also be given a window for applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.
v. This step aims to encourage more people to travel to the nation and discover its renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.
vi. Through this move, Qatar has now become the most open country in the region.
About Qatar
♦ Capital: Doha
♦ PM: Abdullah-Bin Hamed- Bin Khalifa-al Thani
♦ Currency: Riyal

BANKING & FINANCE

Vijaya Bank opens self-employment training institute in Indore
Vijaya Bank has disbursed loan sanction letters to beneficiaries who were trained at the Vijaya Bank Self Employment Training Institute (VIBSETI) in Bhenslay Village, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
i. VIBSETI trains youth for starting their own enterprises.
ii. Kishore Sansi, Managing Director and CEO, Vijaya Bank, inaugurated the new premises recently.
iii. The bank has sponsored three VIBSETIs at Mandya and Haveri in Karnataka and Indore in Madhya Pradesh, where free residential training is provided to low-income groups/rural youth.
iv. So far, more than 50,000 candidates have been trained, 70 per cent of whom have set up their own micro enterprises.
Quick facts about Vijaya Bank:
Founded in: 1931
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Current Managing Director and CEO: Kishore Sansi

Finance Ministry panel to resolve bank pensioner’s issues
The Department of Financial Services under Ministry of Finance has set up a committee to resolve the pending issues of bank pensioners and retirees. This is the outcome of a series of meetings the All India Pensioners and Retirees’ Confederation had with the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley; Minister of State Santosh Kumar Gangwar and department officials.
Demand of Pensioners/Retirees:
i. 100 per cent DA neutralisation for pre-2002 retirees
ii. Improvement in family pension, medical insurance and a medical benefit scheme
iii. Pension updation
iv. Second options to compulsorily retired officers and resignees who have put in a pensionable service.

ICICI bank launches instant credit card with the limit upto 4 lakhs
ICICI Bank has announced the launch of Instant Credit Card Service that will enable its savings account customers to get a credit card instantly, in a completely digital and paperless manner.
Key Points:
i. Using the Instant Credit Card Service, pre-qualified customers can apply and get credit card number and other important details online.
ii. Under which, he/she can immediately start shopping online, without having to wait for the physical card to arrive.
iii .There is a credit limit of up to Rs 4 lakh based on pre-checked bureau scores.
iv. The application procedure also incorporates an additional level of authentication in order to make the security of the offering robust.
v. Currently, this facility to apply for a credit card is available through the Bank’s internet banking platform.
vi. It will also be available shortly on iMobile, the Bank’s mobile banking application soon.
How to apply
i. To apply for an instant credit card, customers can log in through their internet banking account, where they will be shown an option of availing a credit card with their individual credit limits. They can choose from a range of cards.
ii. They can then confirm their details on a pre-populated personal information page and submit the application by following the below simple steps.
iii. Click on the prequalified offers tab and select the desired ICICI Bank Credit Card.
iv. After selecting provide a few required details and accept the terms and conditions.
v. Enter the OTP sent on the registered mobile numberand click on the’Generate Card’ button.

IDFC Bank partners with ZETA for digital payments solution
IDFC Bank has partnered with digital payments company Zeta, to launch ‘IDFC Bank Benefits’ announced on 9th August 2017.
Key Points:
i. ‘IDFC Bank Benefits’is a payment solution for corporates that digitizes employee spends and claims, making the process simple, real-time and paperless. 
ii. The end-to-end digital solution comprises an IDFC Bank Benefits Card and Zeta app which unite the full suite of allowances and reimbursements offered by an employer into one preloaded card.
iii. Employees can also access the Benefits Card via the Zeta app on mobile or web.
iv. This enables them to track spends, entitlement limits and submit claims, digitally.
v. The Benefits Card and Zeta appenhances user experience as it provides convenience and flexibility to the employee.
vi. Employees can avail the benefits of the IDFC Benefits card also via the Zeta app on the mobile or on the web and Zeta Super Tag.
About Zeta App
The Zeta app offers employees a real time view of spends, reimbursement limits and claims.
♦ It also allows for selecting the dependents for whom the purchase is being made and tagging it to the corresponding expense and finally, submitting the claim for review without any paperwork.
♦ The Zeta Super Tag can be attached to any device to turn it into a payment device.

BUSINESS

Amazon launches Virtual Customer Service in India
Amazon has announced the launch of Virtual Customer Service (VCS) model on 9th of August 2017.It is an initiative launched to create cost efficient employment prospects for skilled candidates seeking more flexible work opportunities.
Key Points:
i. VCS has currently been launched in Hyderabad, Pune, Coimbatore and Noida.
ii. It is opening up comfortable channels of employment to people and VCS is an opportunity for those who are unable to come to office every day due to personal reasons but are passionate about their work.
iii. This initiative will help many people resume their career and find an earning with the comfort of being at home.
iv. Amazon also aims to provide and enhance a proficient support experience to customers.
v. The virtual customer service would help reduce customer’s effort, make it simpler to detect and quickly resolve the problems.
vi. It also helps in their needs and educating them on relevant products, programmes and services offered by Amazon.

Amazon India and Telengana Handloom dept ink pact
Amazon India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with the Telangana Department of Handloom and Textiles on 8th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. The MoU is signed to educate, train and enable weavers and artisans to directly sell their products to Amazon customers across the country.
ii. This association will help to elevate popular handloom products from clusters such as are Pochampally, Warangal, Gadwal, Narayanpet and Siddipet which have a tremendous potential and demand in urban areas.
iii. Its aim is to transform the lives of weavers and artisans and raise their standard of living.
ivTelangana will help them boost their business by training them to list and sell their products online on the marketplace.
v. They will conduct various training programs including computer and internet training sessions and registration assistance programs.
vi. The partnership also plans to empower and generate livelihood opportunities and income for the artisans and boost their economy.
About Amazon
♦ Founded on 5th July 1994
♦ Founder and President &CEO: Jeff Bezos
♦ Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, U.S.
♦ CTO: Werner Vogels

Gujarat first state to implement coal utilisation between power units
The Gujarat government has issued a tender for power developers to receive cheap coal. It is marked for the state in return for selling coal-based power at less than Rs 2.82 a unit.
Key Points:
i. Through this auction, Gujarat will transfer the coal allocated to power generating stations.
ii. It is owned by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) to more fuel-efficient private power plants.
iii. The aim is to reduce the cost of fuel for financially ailing distribution companies and ensure effective distribution of domestic coal. 
iv. Under the new policy, the coal requirement of a state would be clubbed and assigned to the respective state or state-nominated agencies.
v. The reverse auction would be held in September for procuring 1,000 megawatt (Mw) of power.
vi. The successful power plant would be selling electricity to the state from 1st of October to 30th June 2018.
vii. The average landed cost of coal for the seven thermal power units of GSECL was Rs 4,812 a tonne, of which half is accounted as transportation cost.
viiiGSECL has allocation from the Korba coalfield in Chhattisgarh and Korea Rewa coalfield in Madhya Pradesh. 
ix. The policy also allowed coal swaps from inefficient plants to efficient ones, and from those situated away from coal mines to the pit-head, to minimize cost of coal transportation.
x. The basis of bidding would include the location of source of coal, quantity of coal, quantum of power and delivery point.
Temples in Gujarat
♦ Somnath Temple :The Somnath temple located in PrabhasPatan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.
♦ Sun Temple :The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati.
♦ Dwarkadhish Temple:The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the JagatMandir. The temple is located at Dwarka, Gujarat, India.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Justice Dipak Misra appointed as 45th Cheif Justice of India
On August 8, 2018, Union Government appointed Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI) with effect from August 28, 2017. He will be replacing incumbent Justice J S Khehar, who is set to retire on August 27, 2017
i. Justice Misra will have tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
ii. It is to be noted that Justice Misra will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the Chief Justice of India, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.

ENVIRONMENT

New Species of Grass Snake Identified in Europe
Scientists have identified a new type of barred snakes, now the total number of European grass snakes species to four.
Key Points:
i .The grass snake is among the most common and widespread snakes in Europe  and these non-toxic reptiles which can reach a length of up to one meter.
ii. The barred grass snake is widely distributed throughout Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy and France, and also occurs in the western part of Germany.
iiiResearchers examined the genetic identity of more than 1,600 grass snakes – many of them scientific museum specimens.
iv. Two “contact zones” of grass snakes were examined closely. One of the zones is located in the Rhine region, the other extends from Central Germany down to the southern Balkans.
v. The two contact zones examined in this study represent different stages in the speciation process:
vi. The eastern contact zone reveals a complete mixing of the involved genetic lineages over hundreds of kilometres (km).

SPORTS

Kynan Chenai won Bronze at 7th Asian Shortgun Championship
Trap shooter and Olympian Kynan Chenai won the bronze medal in the Men’s Trap, at the ongoing 7th Asian Championship Shotgun, being held at Astana, Kazakhstan.
i. Kynan first shot 116 out of 125 to qualify for the six-man final round in third position and then held on to it till the end of the finals.
ii. Abdulrahman Al Faihan of Kuwait won Gold medal and Talal AlRashidi also of Kuwait won Silver Medal.
iii. Other Indian shooters, Zoravar Singh Sandhu ended in 17th place while Birendeep Sodhi finished 36th.
iv. In the team section, India finished on seventh place. Kuwait won gold, Lebabnon won silver while the UAE won bronze.

OBITUARY

BJP MP from Ajmer and Former Union Minister Ajmer Sanwar Lal Jat passed away
Former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer Sanwar Lal Jat passed away on 9th of August 2017.He was 62.
Key Points:
i. Jat had served as Minister of State for Water Resources in the NarendraModi government.
ii. The leader was appointed as the Chairman of the state Farmers’ Commission in October 2016.
iii. Jat had defeated the Sachin Pilot from Congress in Ajmer during the 2014 LokSabha polls.

Former West Bengal minister Gyan Singh Sohanpal passed away
Veteran Congress West Bengal MLA Gyan Singh Sohanpal has passed away on 8th of August 2017.He was 92 and a bachelor.
Key Points:
i. Gyan Singh was fondly called “Chacha”. He was elected to the state assembly 10 times.
ii. He was also a former minister in the Congress government in the state.He had contested last year’s assembly election in the state but was defeated.
iii. Between 1972 and 1977, he served as transport minister during the chief ministerial stint of Siddhartha Shankar Ray.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – August 9 2017
The resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will be observed on 9th August every year.
Key Points:
i. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
ii. The goal is to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as human rights, the environment, development, education, and health, economic and social development.
iii. This year’s celebration of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
iv. Their cultural diversity and homelands across 90 countries share common challenges related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.
v. About 370 million indigenous peoples make up less than 5% of the world’s population.
vi. This is an opportunity to honour the rights of indigenous peoples and their unique contribution to achieving mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development.

75th anniversary of Quit India Movement
The nation is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement on 9th of August 2017.
Key Points:
i. A number of events are being planned at organisational and local levels to mark the occasion.
ii. This year’s theme is “Sankalp se Siddhi- the attainment through resolve.
iii. Prime Minister Modi termed the month of August as a month of revolution as the non-cooperation movement was launched on 1st of August 1920, Quit-India movement on 9th August 1942 and on 15th August 1947 India became independent.
iv. The National Archives of India is organizing a special exhibition in New Delhi from today to mark the 75th year of Quit India Movement and Azad Hind Fauz.
v. The two big events of the Indian history will be displayed through thousands of declassified files and documents.
vi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also taken oath to create a “New India of our dreams” by 2022 by eliminating poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, and communalism.
vii. The Quit India Movement was an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India came together to uproot imperialism.

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