Daily Current Affairs 18th August, 2017
US Declares Hizbul Mujahideen as Global Terrorist Group
- The United Statesnamed Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group.
- The Hizb is one of the two most active Pakistan-based terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, and claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Kashmir.
US and India to co-host global entrepreneurship summit
- The US and India will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in November in Hyderabad, India. GES 2017 will create an environment that empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level.
- Around 1,500 delegates from over 160 countries will participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).
- The theme of the GES this yearis: “Women First, Prosperity for All,” which highlights that when women do better, countries do better.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):
- The summit organised annually since 2010, is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes over one thousand emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world.
- This year marks the first GES held in South Asia, and the event underscores the broad and enduring partnership with India.
- The summit will focus on four key industry sectors: Energy and Infrastructure, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Financial Technology and Digital Economy, and Media and Entertainment.
Union Cabinet given Approval to Complete the remaining work of North Koel Reservoir Project
- North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar at an estimated expenditure of 1622.27 croreto be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project.
- The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.
Other information related to this news
- The project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone river finally joining the river Ganga.
- Navika Sagar Parikrama
- Navika Sagar Parikramais a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe on an Indian-built sail boat INSV Tarini.
- This is the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. The project is scheduled to commence in early Sep 17.
- INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei.
- The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’.
- The expedition has been aptly titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, aimed at promoting women empowerment in the country and ocean sailing by the Indian Navy.
Additional aims of the Expedition are as follows:
- Nari Shakti:In consonance with the National policy to empower women to attain their full potential, the expedition aims to showcase ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform. This would also help to discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of participation by women in challenging environment.
- Environment and Climate Change:Sailing encourages the use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources which affects the life of women. The expedition thereby aims at harnessing the energy to optimise the livelihood of the women onboard.
- Make in India:The voyage also aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing onboard the indigenously built INSV Tarini.
- Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave Data Observation:The crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis by research and development organisations.
- Marine Pollution:The crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas.
Government to Conduct ‘World’s Largest Sample Survey’ for Students
- The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministryhas announced November 13 as the date for conducting its National Assessment Survey (NAS) for the students of class 3, 5, and 8.
- So far, during several rounds of the survey, a total of 4.45 lakh students have been tested for various learning outcomes. This time, approximately 30 lakh students will be assessed in the year 2017-18 making it the world’s largest sample survey of student learning achievement.
- Prakash Javadekar is the HRD Minister.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
Tata Power, First Power Utility to Use QR Code
- Tata Power has become the first power utilityto introduce a QR code based bill payments system in India. The QR code linked to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be printed on the electricity bills.
- The customers can scan the QR code with BHIM app or any other UPI linked bank app and pay their bills without any hassle.
- Anil Sardana is the MD and CEO of TATA Power.
- Tata Power established India’s first large hydro-electric project in Khopoli, Maharashtra in 1915.
New BRICS bank plans $1.5 billion lending for South African projects
- A New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the “BRICS” group of emerging economies plans to lend $1.5 billion to South Africa for infrastructure projects over the next eighteen months. The bank also officially opened its African regional centre in Johannesburg.
About New Development Bank:-
- It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). It is seens as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
- The New Development Bank was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summitheld in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
- The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
- The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.
- Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.
Government Bans Export of Gold Items Above 22-Carat Purity
- The government has banned exports of gold jewellery, medallionsand other articles above 22- carat purity in a bid to check round tripping of the precious metal.
- According to the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), certain provisions of the foreign trade policy (2015-20) are amended to allow export of gold jewellery and articles containing gold of 8 carats and above up to a maximum limit of 22 carats only from domestic tariff area and export-oriented units, electronics hardware technology parks, software technology parks and bio technology parks.
- India is the world’s second-biggest gold consumer after China.
HDFC Bank Revises Interest Rates On Saving Accounts
- HDFC Bank Ltdhas announced a revision in its savings bank interest rate effective August 19, 2017. Post revision, customers maintaining savings bank account balance of Rs 50 lakh and above will continue to earn interest at 4 per cent per annum.
- Customers maintaining account balance of below Rs 50 lakh will earn interest at 3.5 per cent per annum from earlier 4 per cent. The revised rates will be applicable to both resident and Non-resident customers.
- CEO of HDFC Bank is Aditya Puri.
- It Headquarters in Mumbai.
BSNL Launches Digital Wallet Powered by MobiKwik
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)went digital by launching a bespoke mobile wallet (mobile payment App) that would enable its existing 100 million customers to make Bill payments. This digital wallet was launched at an event by Manoj Sinha, Minister for Telecommunications in the capital.
- The wallet has been developed and issued by MobiKwik on behalf of BSNL.
- Chairman & Managing Director of BSNL is Shri Anupam Shrivastava.
- Bipin Preet Singh is the Founder CEO & Director of Mobikwik.
World Bank Pledges $24 Million to Enhance India’s Forest Ecosystem Services
- The Finance Ministry and the World Bank signed a grant agreement of $24.64 millionfrom the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for ecosystem service improvement project.
- The project would be financed entirely by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is five years. The objective of the Project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the departments of forestry and community organizations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in central Indian highlands.
- World Bank’s Acting Country Director for India is Hisham Abdo Kahin.
- The President of the World Bank is Mr. Jim Yong Kim.
- It was founded in 1944.
- It Headquarters in Washington DC, USA.
NHAI Launches Mobile App MyFASTag and FASTag Partner
- National Highways Authority of Indialaunched two mobile Apps – MyFASTag and FASTag Partner in New Delhi, to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
- MyFASTag is a consumer Appthat can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems. FASTag Partner is a merchant App. Agencies like Common Services Centre, banking partners, and vehicle dealers can sell and enroll FASTag through this App.
- Shri Deepak Kumar is the Chairman of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
5 Indian-Origin Persons in Fortune’s Annual ‘40 Under 40’ List]
- Five Indian-origin persons,including Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, have featured in Fortune’s annual list of 40 young and influential people in the field of business. Fortune’s 2017 ‘40 Under 40’ list is an annual ranking of the most influential young people who are under 40 in business.
- The list has been topped by 39-year-old French President Emmanuel Macron“France’s youngest leader since Napoleon”. The Indian-origin persons on the list are 26-year-old Divya Nag, who oversees Apple’s ambitious ResearchKit and CareKit programmes, Rishi Shah, 31, and Shradha Agarwal, 32, 31-year-old Leila Janah. The list also includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the second spot.
Malala Yousafzai Gets a Place at Oxford
- Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai secured a place at Oxford University after getting her A-level results.
- She will philosophy, politics, and economics at the prestigious varsity.
- Malala was made the youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace.
- She was also the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize aged 17 in 2014.
ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND TECH
Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign.
- As a part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry will undertake various activities to create awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution.
What necessitates this move?
- Diwali is an integral part of our rich tradition and a festival that embodies joy and happiness. In recent times, the pattern of celebration has changed somewhat and has got associated with excessive bursting of crackers, which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution. As a result, there has been a significant impact on the environment and health of the people.
- As has been the experience in the past few years, airborne pollution has been rising above safe limits during winter in many cities. The excessive burning of crackers during Diwali aggravates the problem. The pollution levels in Delhi last year, especially post Diwali, reached such levels that the government had to declare an emergency situation, which had socio-economic consequences like closing down of schools, construction sites and power stations.
Emma Stone Named as 2017’s Highest-Paid Female Actor
- Emma Stonehas been named Hollywood’s best-paid female actor in Forbes annual list of top earners.
- The 28-year-old made $26m in the last 12 months, the majority of which was earned from her Oscar-winning performance in the musical romance La La Land. The film made over $445m worldwide.
- Stonewon an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION
Sohail Mahmood- Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India
- Sohail Mahmoodhas assumed the charge of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India in New Delhi.
- Mahmood, who joined foreign service in 1985, was earlier deputed in Turkey as Ambassador of Pakistan. He replaced Abdul Basit after his premature retirement.
- Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been recently elected as Pakistan Prime Minister.
Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka Resigns
- Vishal Sikka of Infosys Ltdhas resigned as Managing Director and Chief Executive of the company with immediate effect.
- B. Pravin Raohas been appointed as interim-managing director and chief executive. Mr. Sikka has now been appointed as executive vice-chairman of the company.
- Infosys is country’s no. 2 software services exporter.
Lakshya Sen Wins Bulgaria Open International Series
- Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Senclinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- The 16-year-old shuttler defeated second seed Zvonimir in a 57-minute match.
- The Capital of Bulgaria is Sofia.
- Rumen Radev is the President of Bulgaria.
India, China ‘clash’ near high-altitude Pangong Lake
- The Indian and Chinese armies clashed recently along the Pangong lake in Ladakh when the People’s Liberation Army tried to penetrate into the Indian side.
- The latest incident comes amid an ongoing dispute between the two sides over a strategic Himalayan plateau thousands of kilometres away where hundreds of Indian and Chinese soldiers have been facing off against each other for more than two months.
About the disputed region:
- Pangon lake or Pangong Tso, a 135-km long lake, located in the Himalayas at the height of approximately 4,350 m, stretches out from India to China. One-third of water body, its 45 km stretch, is in Indian control while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control.
- There has been constant strife between the two countries over the region as both assert territorial possession.
- The region has been a bone of contention between India and China for long. In the 1990s, when the Indian side laid claims over the area, the Chinese army built a metal-top road contending that it was part of the Aksai Chin, which is another disputed border area between the two.
- The Aksai Chin area falls under Chinese control and is governed as part of Hotan County. However, India also claims it to be a part of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Can’t Mekedatu be used to address T.N.’s needs, asks SC
- The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments to envision the Mekedatu dam project as a facility to store excess water from Karnataka, which can be released to Tamil Nadu.
About the project:
- Karnataka intends to build a reservoir across river Cauvery near Mekedatu in Kanakapura taluk. It was first proposed along with Shivanasamudra hydro power project at Shimsa in 2003 with an intention to use the water for a hydro power station and supply drinking water to Bengaluru city.
- The drinking water and hydroelectric project will have a balancing reservoir to store 66.50 tmcft of Cauvery water.
- The project is estimated to cost 5,912 crore and about 4,900 hectares of forest land will submerge if the project is implemented.