Daily Current Affairs 9th June, 2017
India and UNOSSC launch Partnership Fund to Promote Sustainable Development
- India and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation have launched a partnership fund to promote sustainable development projects across the developing world.
- The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was launched on occasion of the World Oceans Day at a special ceremony held at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
President launches ‘Selfie with Daughter’ Mobile App
- The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has launched a mobile Application ‘Selfie with Daughter’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- The App is aimed at raising awareness among people about female foeticide and sex selection. The President has urged the people to take selfies with their daughters to make the campaign a huge success.
- The app is expected to create awareness and help in dealing with the problems arising out of gender imbalance. The President has termed the App as an innovative concept and as an act of gentle persuasion.
Supreme Court: Linking of Aadhaar with PAN Mandatory
- The Supreme Court has upheld the government’s decision and ruled that it would be mandatory for all Aadhaar holders to link it with the permanent account number (PAN) for filing of income tax returns.
- However, in a partial setback to the government, the apex court refused to make it compulsory for those people who do not possess an Aadhaar card or have not yet applied for one. The Court stayed the retrospective invalidation of PAN for non-compliance till a Constitutional Bench decides on the privacy question pending before it.
- As a result, a person who do not possess Aadhaar card will not face criminal consequences for not linking Aadhaar card with PAN card.
- The Supreme Court also upheld the legislative competence of Parliament in enacting the law to this effect. However, it has stated that it has not touched upon the issue of Right to Privacy and other aspects which will be decided by the Constitution bench.
ECONOMY,BANKING AND FINANCE
Petrol and Diesel Prices to be revised Daily from June 16
- State-run oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) will revise the prices of petrol and diesel daily from June 16 throughout the country.
- The move is aimed at countering the practice of undercutting by private retailers as well as to bring India at par with the US oil market. Private retailers such as RIL and Essar are also expected to switch to the new pricing mechanism.
- At present, State-run oil marketing companies revise rates of petrol and diesel on the 1st and 16th of every month by taking into account the average international crude price in the preceding fortnight and the currency exchange rate.
India signs OECD pact to check tax evasion by MNCs
- India signed the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) multilateral convention that aims to check cross-border tax evasion by multinational companies.
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention in Paris, France to implement tax treaty- related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting.
- The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.
Axis Bank, first to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards
- Axis Bank Ltd has announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards on the occasion of World Environment Day (05th June).
- With this, the bank has become the first to introduce biodegradable cards in the country. The card has the look and feel of regular plastic cards and can be used in PoS terminals and ATMs. Biodegradable cards can also be recycled.
UDAN scheme: Tamil Nadu govt signs MoU with Aviation Ministry
- The Government of Tamil Nadu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the implementation of the UDAN scheme in the state.
- Under the Regional Air Connectivity scheme UDAN, three of the tier-two industrial towns such as Hosur, Salem and Neyveli are to be developed in the first phase where airstrips are available, though not in use.
Civil Aviation Ministry to roll out ‘DigiYatra’ for air travellers
- Civil Aviation Ministry is adding a digital experience for Air travelers through ‘DigiYatra’ Platform in New Delhi. This initiative aims at bringing together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver customers a seamless and paperless service experience at every stage of journey.
- Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha stated that the initiative envisages providing airline travelers in India, a digitally unified flying experience across all stages of their journey.
Ministry of AYUSH inaugurates 2nd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga
- The second National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga has begun in New Delhi. The conference aimed at giving insight to the journalists about the scientific aspects of yoga and its benefits for health.
- The theme of the conference is ‘Yoga for Health and Harmony’. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Nanoparticles to treat eye infection
- Scientists at the Hyderabad-based CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) have developed a novel way to treat fungal keratitis.
- Treating keratitis infection is currently a challenge because it is difficult to maintain a therapeutic dose at the corneal surface for long periods as blinking and tear formation washes off the drug. To address this challenge, scientists have developed protein-based nanoparticles that encapsulate the drug.
- Certain antibodies get attached to the outer surface of the nanoparticles, thus anchoring the nanoparticles to the corneal surface. The infected cornea expresses a set of receptors (TLR4) when infection sets in. Scientists have used antibodies to these receptors to anchor the nanoparticles to the cornea.
- If the infection is severe, more receptors are expressed on the cornea and more nanoparticles get bound to the receptors. Since they are bound, the residence time in the eye is long; neither blinking nor tear formation washes off the nanoparticles.
- The enzymes secreted by fungi breaks down the gelatine protein of nanoparticles that encapsulates the drug, thus releasing the drug. Like in the case of the receptors, more enzyme is secreted when infection is severe leading to more drug being released from the nanoparticles.
- The gelatine protein acts as an alternative nutrient for the fungi. The fungi also degrade the gelatine-based nanoparticle to derive nutrients thus minimising the damage to the corneal tissue. In the process it releases the drug. In a sense, the fungi are committing suicide by consuming the gelatine protein.
World’s oldest fossil mushroom discovered
- The world’s oldest fossil mushroom – dating back to about 115 million years – has been discovered in Brazil.
- The mushroom has been named Gondwanagaricites magnificus and belongs to the Agaricales order.
PERSONS IN NEWS
UK Elects its First Female Sikh and First Turban Wearing Sikh as MPs
- In a first Preet Kaur Gill has become the first Sikh to be elected to the British Parliament’s House of Commons.
- Similarly, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi has become the first turban-wearing Sikh to be elected to the House of Commons. In a first, the House of Commons will have a record 12 Indian-origin MPs, which will be two more than the present record of 10 (five each from Labour and Conservative).
Indian American Raja Chari among 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA
- NASA has chosen 12 new astronauts, including an Indian American named Raja Chari, from a record number of over 18,000 applicants, who will be trained for missions into Earth orbit and to deep space.
- The 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX and a NASA research pilot.
- Col. Raja Chari is the first Indian American after Kalpana Chawla to be chosen by NASA for one of its missions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is the largest group NASA has selected in almost two decades.
Virat Kohli sole Indian in top 100 of Forbes list of world’s highest paid athletes
- Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature in the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Virat Kohli has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $ 22 million that includes $ three million from salary and winnings and another 19 million from endorsements.
- Tennis star Serena Williams is at the 51 spot with $ 27 million, the lone female athlete to make the cut this year.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank appoints B K Manjunath as part-time chairman for 3 years
- Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has appointed B K Manjunath as a part-time chairman for three years.
- Manjunath is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a practicing charted accountant for the last 25 years.
Muttiah Muralidaran becomes first Sri Lankan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
- Muttiah Muralidaran, the most successful bowler in Tests and One-Day Internationals, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in London.
- The Sri Lankan spin great was honored during the innings break of the India versus Sri Lanka Champions Trophy match at The Oval.
- He became the first player from Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when ICC CEO Dave Richardson presented him with a commemorative framed cap.
Ramkumar Ramanathan lifts ITF men’s Futures tennis title
- India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan lifted the ITF (International Tennis Federation) men’s Futures tennis title after outplaying Raymond Sarmiento of the USA in straight sets in Singapore.
- The top-seeded Indian beat the second seeded player 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the event. It was the first title of the season for Ramkumar.