Current Affairs Update – 9-10 August, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 9-10 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.



Banking & Financial News

Maharashtra Government to raise $270 m from Green Climate Fund


  • The state government of Maharashtra is planning to raise $270 million from the Green Climate Fund with the help of the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG).
  • The government plans to invest the funds raised in integrated watershed programmes such as Jalyukt Shivar Yojana, which has successfully improved the ground water level in drought affected areas of the state.
  • However, the ground water needs to be further connected with the efficient use of water for which proper technology and infrastructural development is needed at the village level, where the funds will come useful. It will also be used in crop diversification and adding market linkages.
  • It is a new fund under the UN that is guided by the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  •  The group is a public-private-civil society collaboration for water resources reform in developing economies, hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
  • The main objective of the group is to close the gap between the demand and supply of water by the year 2030.

NITI Aayog selects 6 States for transformative change in Health & Education sectors


  • NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog on 8 August 2017 announced its partnership with six states to bring transformative change in Health & Education sectors under its 'Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) ' initiative.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka were shortlisted under SATH initiative to transform their health sector. On the other hand, three states namely - Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha – were selected to transform their education sector under its SATH initiative.
  • To give a major push to competitive, cooperative federalism, the government think tank had invited all states and Union Territories to participate in its SATH initiative to transform Health and Education sectors. States then made presentations for each sector which was assessed by a committee comprised of senior members of NITI Aayog and Health and Human Resources Development ministries.
  • The States highlighted the initiatives undertaken by them and their willingness to accelerate improvement. On thorough technical evaluation, the chosen States have committed to time-bound, governance reforms in both sectors.
  • A Program Management Unit to push for efficiency and efficacy in governance structures and service delivery will now be available in the six chosen States for a period of 30 months. It is expected that these three years of focussed attention and support from the premier think tank will lead to a marked transformation and also provide a model for other States to replicate and adapt.



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SEBI launches online registration for custodians of securities


  • Markets regulator SEBI on 9 August 2017 launched online registration mechanism for custodians of securities to make it convenient for them to do business.
  • The new system will help custodian of securities to complete registration and other regulatory filings with SEBI in a cost-effective manner.   
  • All applicants who want to seek registration as a custodian of securities are now required to submit their applications online only.    
  • The custodian of securities, who seek approval as Designated Depository Participant (DDP) in  terms  of Regulation 11 of SEBI (FPI) Regulations, 2014, will also be required to apply through this portal.    
  • Custodian of securities holds shares and other assets in electronic or physical form.

Google, NSDC launch programme to improve Mobile Developer Ecosystem


  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Google India on 8 August 2017 launched Android Skill Development programme to improve Mobile Developer Ecosystem.
  • The programme is aimed at imparting mobile development training on the Android and Web platform and improving the quality of mobile app development ecosystem in India.
  • NSDC is a public-private partnership enterprise under the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • Under the initiative, NSDC will introduce a specific course to create applications for the mobile platform that can be used on smartphones and tablets running on the Android operating system.
  • The 100-hour duration course will be designed and delivered by NSDC's partner agencies, outside the formal education system.
  • NSDC and Google India will also work together to focus on up-skilling Android trainers under the programme.
  • The programme will accelerate mobile skill training and create opportunities for youth in the country.
  • The programme will focus on achieving the target of the Union Government's Skill India initiative.

News related to India & states

Govt launches national anthem video in sign language featuring disabled


  • The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Thursday launched an Indian National Anthem video in sign language, featuring disabled and partially disabled children.
  • Directed by veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalani, the video features film star Amitabh Bachchan apart from the children who sing the National Anthem in sign language against the backdrop of the Red Fort, a Ministry statement said.
  • "The film is conceptualised by Satish Kapoor, Founder Director, We Care Film Festival. We Care Film Festival produced the Film under the aegis of Brotherhood, an NGO. It is directed by Govind Nihalani and the music is scored by late Aadesh Shrivastava," read the statement.
  • Speaking on the occasion here, Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his call for the inclusion of "divyangjan" in the country's development.

Union Government launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 August 2017 launched a third party verification survey report to take stock of the progress made by the Swachh Bharat Mission in rural India.
  • The Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017 report was launched at a press conference held in New Delhi by Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Parameswaran Iyer, the Secretary.
  • During the press conference, it was announced that, to encourage States and districts to improve their Sanitation coverage and Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will begin ranking all districts in India based on the data available on the SBM-G IMIS quarterly.
  • The ranking will be done based on parameters of Performance, Sustainability and Transparency, and the first ranking will be announced on 2 October 2017 for the quarter July-September 2017.
  • In addition, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) will celebrate the week leading up to the 70th Independence Day as Khule Mein Shauch Se Azaadi Saptaah.
  • The Quality Council of India (QCI) conducted a transparent third-party assessment of the present status of rural sanitation in all the States and the Union Territories (UTs), called Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017.
Key highlights of Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017

  • Under the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017, QCI surveyed 1.4 lakh rural households across 4626 villages, and found the overall toilet coverage to be 62.45 per cent.
  • At the time of the survey, i.e. May-June 2017, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) MIS reported the toilet coverage to be 63.73 per cent.
  • The survey observed that 91.29 per cent of the people having access to a toilet and they also use it. 
Top performing states

  • Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were the top performers with 95 per cent rural households covered by toilets. In addition, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand had over 90 per cent toilet coverage of the rural houses.
  • Gujarat fared better in terms of rural sanitation as 85 per cent of rural households had access to toilets. Almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana have access to a toilet.  In Tamil Nadu, 79 per cent of the rural households had access to a toilet.
Worst performing states

  • In Bihar, only 30 per cent of the rural households had access to toilets. On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37 per cent. In Jharkhand, only 37 per cent of the rural households had access to a toilet.



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NCERT launches web portal to enable online orders for textbooks


  • The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on 9 August 2017 launched a web portal that will enable schools and individuals to place orders for their books online. The NCERT’s portal was launched by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha in New Delhi.
  • The portal will ensure better distribution of textbooks across the country. The Web Portal can be accessed at www.ncertbooks.ncert.gov.in.
  • It will also address the apprehensions, on the part of schools and parents, regarding the unavailability of NCERT textbooks.
  • The schools will be able to log on to the portal, by entering their respective Boards’ affiliation numbers and other details, till 8 September 2017 for placing their orders for the session 2018-19.
  • At the time of placing the orders, the schools are not required to make the payment; the payment can be made just before the supply.
  • The schools will also have the option of directly procuring textbooks either from their nearest NCERT vendors or from the Regional Production-cum-Distribution Centres (RPDCs) of the NCERT’s located at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Bengaluru.

Second round of National Deworming Day programme covers 11 Cr children


  • The second round of National Deworming Day (NDD) was held across the nation on 10 August 2017 to tackle worm infections targeting more than 11 Cr children.
  • The Health Ministry stated that among the total number of children, at least 7.8 Cr were from private schools while the rest, 3.5 Cr, were out of school children. The out of school children were covered through Anganwadi workers and ASHAs.
  • Follow-up activities would be held later on 17 August, which will cover 31 Cr children.

Government forms panel to enhance affordability, availability of drugs


  • The Union government has formed a new committee in its effort to make drugs more affordable in the country.
  • The information was shared by Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mansukh L Mandaviya in a written reply to the Parliament’s lower house, Lok Sabha. "Government has constituted a committee of joint secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens," the Minister said.
  • The Committee would be responsible for suggesting ways to make pricing policy in favour of the poor patients.
  • It would also review the scope of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 (DPCO 2013) and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order.
  • It would also be responsible for streamlining the existing mechanisms for the collection of market-based data on prices of medicines and suggesting ways for strengthening the existing pharmaceutical database management system.

India celebrates 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement


  • The 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, also known as August Kranti Andolan, will be celebrated across India on 9 August 2017.
  • The movement that aimed to help India attain complete independence, a historic milestone in the Indian freedom struggle, had begun on 9 August 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. India gained independence five years after the movement.
  • A number of events are being planned at both organisational and local levels to mark the occasion. This year’s theme is "Sankalp se Siddhi- the attainment through resolve.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently called for the launch of the mega campaign, Sankalp Se Siddhi, from 9 August.  He urged the youth, student organisations and NGOs in India to organise group discussions to bring forth new ideas.
  • Modi also termed the month of August as the month of revolution, as it has witnessed the three most significant events of Indian history – the non-cooperation movement (1 August 1920), Quit-India movement (9 August 1942) and finally the day India gained its Independence from the British Raj (15 August 1947).

Appointments

Indian-American Dilip Chauhan appointed as Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs in New York


  • Indian-American Dilip Chauhan was on 8 August 2017 appointed as the Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs of Nassau County, New York. He was nominated for the post by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos.
  • The post of Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs focuses on increasing outreach to the minority communities in Nassau County here.
  • The minority communities are an integral part of the structure of 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) to meet the County’s goals.
  • Chauhan had joined the Comptroller’s office in 2015 as Director for Community Affairs, South and East Asia. He has been serving as Senior Advisor to the Comptroller since early 2017.

World News

Facebook launches YouTube competitor called 'Watch'


  • Facebook on 9 August 2017 launched a new video programming platform 'Watch' for creators and publishers. Watch is expected to compete with Google-owned YouTube.
  • Watch will be available on mobile, desktop, laptop as well as in TV apps.
  • Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.
  • It is personalized to one in discovering new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching.
  • Moreover, to help the viewers connect with friends, Watch allows them to see comments while watching the show and also allows them to participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.
  • Watch also has a Watchlist to help the viewers to keep up with the shows they follow, so that they never miss out on the latest episodes.

Lists & Indexes

India ranks 43rd in 2017 Global Retirement Index


  • India in the first week of August 2017 was ranked at the last position of 43rd in the 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI).
  • The Index is published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
  • The Global Retirement Index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors, which are the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being), access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances), access to quality health services (Health), and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life).
  • The 43 countries included in the index are the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC (Britain, Russia, India and China) countries.
  • The 2017 Global Retirement Index was topped by Norway, followed by Switzerland and Iceland.

Awards & Honors

Actor Dev Patel honoured with Asian Game Changer Award 2017


  • Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel was honoured with the Asian Game Changer Award 2017 by the Asia Society for making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.
  • As per the Asia Society, Dev Patel's roles in 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Lion' challenge the audiences to view India's poor as individuals instilled with hopes, dreams and opportunities, not as teeming and desperate masses.
  • Patel has also established lasting ties with India with his #lionheart campaign that has raised over USD 250000 to support homeless children in India.
  • The other Asian Game Changer awardees of 2017 are Tadashi Yanai, the founder of clothing retailing chain UNIQLO; Mongolian Eagle huntress Aisholpan Nurgaiv and Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh.
  • On the other hand, Aga Khan was honoured with the Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award.

Obituaries

Actor Sitaram Panchal of ‘Peepli Live' fame passes away


  • Acclaimed Bollywood actor Sitaram Panchal passed away early morning on 10 August 2017 after battling kidney and lung cancer. He was 54.
  • "He died today morning. He was suffering from cancer and wasn’t keeping well since the past few months," said family sources.
  • The actor, best known for his unconventional roles in films like Peepli Live, Slumdog Millionaire, Paan Singh Tomar and Jolly LLB, passed away at his residence in Mumbai after celebrating his 26th wedding anniversary with his wife Uma Panchal and son Rishabh Panchal.
  • In his last days, the actor faced severe financial issues. He had even put up a post on social media seeking financial help for his cancer treatment last month. The Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) had come forward to help the actor. Panchal was discharged from the hospital last month.

Former West Bengal Minister Gyan Singh Sohanpal dies


  • Gyan Singh Sohanpal, former West Bengal Minister and freedom fighter, passed away on 8 August 2017 following old-age problems. He was 92.
  • He was among the few people who shared the stage with Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. His career spans the Bengal famine in the 1960s, the Naxalite movement, the Emergency and the rise and fall of the Left government.
  • Fondly called 'Chacha' by all, Sohanpal began his political life by joining the Congress during the 1942 Quit India movement.

Former Union minister and BJP MP Sanwar Lal Jat passes away


  • Sanwar Lal Jat, former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer, passed away in New Delhi on 9 August 2017. He was 62.
  • The minister was being treated at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a meeting chaired by BJP party president Amit Shah at Jaipur in July, following which he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the city’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital.
  • However, he had to be airlifted to AIIMS from Jaipur after his condition turned critical. He slipped into coma shortly later.  According to the doctors at AIIMS, the cardiac arrest had caused damage to Jat’s brain and he had to be put on a ventilator.


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