Daily Current Affairs 25th April, 2017
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
- In the light of alleged irregularities, the government has reiterated that GeM is the most transparent, accountable and efficient public procurement portal and has already resulted in savings of crores of Rupees to the Government.
- The government noted that the processes on GeM are completely transparent and GeM is the first Government portal that places all the procurements- big or small- by Government organizations in public domain, with details about the buyer, seller, item, quantity and price.
- The government has also assured that there are adequate checks and balances in place on GeM which do not allow suppliers to get away with supplying at a higher price to the Government, than the prevailing market or Last Procurement Price (LPP).
- Government e-Marketplace (GeM) aims to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc.
- DGS&D with technical support of NeGD (MeitY) has developed GeM portal for procurement of both Products & Services.
- GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
Solve a problem, win ₹1 crore
- The Centre is set to launch a scheme for students from higher educational institutions to volunteer to offer innovative, original and practical solutions to problems facing the country and get rewarded for their efforts.
- The scheme will be called IDEAS, or Innovations for Development of Efficient and Affordable Systems. It is an initiative to challenge young minds with problems of society in general, to come up with innovative, original, practical and economical solutions.
- The Human Resource Development Ministry has identified a handful of areas pertaining to which the problem-solving skills of students will be tested. These are affordable healthcare, computer science and ICT, energy (making solar/renewable resources cheaper, energy efficiency, etc.), affordable housing, healthcare, agriculture, education, water resources and river systems, affordable infrastructure, defence, cybersecurity and information security, and environment and climate change.
- The scheme will invite students to find solutions to problems in these fields — and offer a prize of ₹1 crore to the best solution in each field.
- Under each of the above areas or themes, 10 problem statements will be prepared and widely publicised. All higher educational institutions will be eligible and encouraged to participate, but participation of IITs, NITs and CFTIs will be mandatory.
India, France carry out joint naval exercise ‘Varuna’
- The Indian Navy has begun a joint maritime exercise with the French Navy at the Mediterranean Sea to further deepen combat coordination between the two navies.
- Guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Trishul and fleet tanker INS Aditya are taking part in the ‘Varuna’ exercise which will continue till April 30.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
IIITM-K develops app for coffee growers
- Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) has launched an application named Kaapi Soil Health Management and Monitoring (Kshemam) app to provide soil nutrient information and fertiliser recommendation for coffee plantation owners.
- The app will help in proper identification of optimum levels of fertiliser use.
- Farmers by entering information like geographic coordinates or their administrative divisions can check the soil property, nutrient status and fertiliser recommendations for their land.
- In addition, the spatial variation of individual nutrients can also be thematically visualised with the help of this app.
- By using this app, the farmers can generate fertiliser recommendation, nutrient advisory and soil health card in English, Kannada, Tamil or Malayalam.
Prevent malaria – save lives: WHO push for prevention on World Malaria Day, 25th April
- Despite many preventive measures, malaria still remains a leading cause of mortality world wide. Malaria mosquito generally thrives in the areas with a lot of moisture and humidity.
- Malaria being a mosquito-borne disease, is transmitted by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito which is a parasite, like all mosquitoes.
- Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will pilot the world’s first malaria vaccine from 2018, offering it for babies and children in high-risk areas as part of real-life trials. Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.
- The injectable vaccine, called RTS,S or Mosquirix,was developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline to protect children from the most deadly form of malaria in Africa.
- This is WHO’s pilot programme to assess whether the Mosquirix’s protective effect in children aged 5 to 17 months can be replicated in real-life.
- It will also assess the feasibility of delivering the four doses needed, and explore the vaccine’s potential role in reducing the number of children killed by the disease.
RDPR bags awards:
- Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department has bagged e-Puraskar Award for the best performance in empowering panchayats by using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, for 2016-17. The State bagged the award for its Ganshi Sakshi Kayak GPS-enabled ICT tool.
- Kerala bagged the second prize, while West Bengal secured third prize in the category of ICT tools.
- Ministry of Panchayat Raj has been conferring e-Puraskar for bringing in transparency, efficiency and accountability in the functioning of panchayats through ICT tools. The cash prize for the first position is Rs. 2 crore, Rs. 1 crore for second position and Rs. 50 lakh for third position.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets NASA Record For Most Days In Space
- NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has officially set the U.S. record for most cumulative days in space, surpassing astronaut Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days.
- Whitson also is the first woman to command the space station; she has commanded it twice. Her first stint as commander was in April 2008 and she’s commanding the current crew.
- She also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut. Whitson took her eighth spacewalk in March.
PLACES IN NEWS
India’s first sea ropeway to link Mumbai and Elephanta island
- India’s first and longest ropeway to connect Mumbai with the famous Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea is planned to be constructed by the Mumbai Port Trust, according to the official report.
- The 8-km ropeway will begin from Sewri in Mumbai’s east coast and end at Raigad district’s Elephanta Island, globally renowned for Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur bags Gold at Asian Grand Prix Meet in China
- Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur has clinched a gold in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in Jinhua, China.