Daily Current Affairs - 21st Jun 2017

10,000 more NGOs may lose licence

  • The Union Home Ministry is examining if the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of over 10,000 NGOs should be cancelled, as they have not complied with the Centre’s order to file annual returns under five categories. While over 8,000 NGOs did file the returns under all the five formats, most did not comply entirely.
  • NGOs that receive foreign grants are required to get a FCRA licence and file five annual return forms. There are over 20,000 NGOs registered under the FCRA.
  • Since the NDA government came to power, the FCRA licences of more than 11,000 NGOs have been cancelled. More than 1,300 were refused renewal of their licence for violation of the FCRA.

Anil Kumble quits as head coach

  • Anil Kumble stepped down as coach four days before the limited-overs tour of the Caribbean begins. The BCCI confirmed the development saying that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the head coach of the senior India men’s team.
  • While the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) had endorsed an extension to his tenure, Mr. Kumble has decided not to continue as the Indian captain Virat Kohli had reservations with Kumble's style of Coaching and him continuing as head coach.
  • M.V. Sridhar (GM, Cricket Operations) will supervise the team management for the West Indies tour. Sanjay Bangar, batting coach and R. Sridhar, fieldng coach, will continue their assignments.

Australian Super Series: Kashyap set up clash with World No. 1

  • Commonwealth Games champion shuttler P. Kashyap set up a clash with World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho in the main draw of the Australian Super Series. Kashyap, who is trying to comeback after losing a lot of time due to a series of injuries.
  • Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu and Sai Praneeth will start their campaign on Wednesday.
  • In the main draw, Indonesia Open champion K. Srikanth will face Kan Chao Yu in the opening round. In women’s singles qualifying round, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde beat Australia’s Sylvina Kurniawan 21-15, 21-15

Changing diet may treat autism

  • Altering the make-up of bacteria in the gut simply through diet, pro-and prebiotic supplements, faecal matter transplants or antibiotics might reduce the symptoms of autism, suggests new research.The findings are based on a review of more than 150 papers on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gut bacteria.
  • The review highlighted many studies showing that restoring a healthy balance in gut bacteria can treat ASD symptoms.
  • Researchers review looked at taking probiotics, prebiotics, changing the diet for example, to gluten and casein-free diets, and faecal matter transplants. All had a positive impact on symptoms,

Cholesterol-cutting vaccine shows promise

  • A cholesterol-lowering vaccine has shown promise in mice, said researchers who announced they had started early-phase trials to see if it also works in humans. The vaccine, dubbed AT04A, reduced cholesterol levels in trial mice by half, and reversed damage done to blood vessels due to plaque build-up by more than 60%.
  • The mice were given the vaccine after they were fed a fatty diet to resemble the high-cholesterol intake of a human Western-style diet. Levels of cholesterol were reduced in a consistent and long-lasting way.
  • Such a treatment could offer a welcome alternative to statins, the main pharmaceutical choice today for lowering cholesterol in people at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

Dalveer Bhandari gets renominated to ICJ

  • India has renominated its serving candidate Dalveer Bhandari at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal legal organ of the United Nations. Justice Dalveer Bhandari will serve for a term of nine years as the Indian judge at the ICJ. Justice Bhandari, who previously served in the Supreme Court of India, was elected in April 2012 to his current seat.
  • During his term at the ICJ, Justice Bhandari has been engaged in cases ranging from maritime disputes, genocide, nuclear disarmament, terrorism and violation of sovereign rights.
  • The ICJ settles disputes between sovereign states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorised UN organs. The ICJ is open to all UN member states.
  • The Court consists of 15 judges who are elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
  • President of ICJ: Ronny Abraham
  • Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands

First indigenously built floating dock launched

  • The Indian Navy’s first indigenously built floating dock (FDN-2), developed by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T), was launched at it's shipyard in Kattupalli. The floating dock is 185 metres long and 40 metres wide and will enable docking of all kinds of vessels, including Naval ships and submarines (excepting aircraft carriers and tankers) of up to 8,000 tonnes displacement, with draughts of up to seven metres, during both day and night.
  • The Navy already has one floating dock as this would be its second such facility, FDN-2 will be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will enhance the Navy’s technical repair infrastructure.
  • FDN-2 was designed and built by L&T at a cost of Rs. 468 crore.

GDP growth to rise to 7.5% in FY19: Fitch

  • According to Fitch Ratings,India’s GDP growth will steadily rise from 7.4% to 7.5% in 2018-19 and to 7.6% in 2019-20. The growth would be boosted by the goods and services tax, increased public spending on infrastructure, and a supportive monetary policy over the last two years.
  • It also forecasts that the recovery in global growth was strengthening, with world GDP growth expected to pick up to 3.1% in 2018 from 2.5% in 2016.

Grapes may help fight colon cancer

  • According to a research by scientists, compounds found in grapes can kill colon cancer cells and may lead to novel treatments to prevent the deadly disease. The compounds called resveratrol, which are found in grape skins and seeds,could also eventually lead to treatments to help prevent colon cancer.
  • The combination of resveratrol and grape seed extract is very effective at killing colon cancer cells and the combination of these compounds is not toxic to healthy cells.
  • Cancer stem cells are capable of self-renewal, cellular differentiation and maintain their stem cell-like characteristics even after invasion and metastasis.

Hike forays in to wallet, UPI

  • Home-grown instant messaging application Hike forayed into the digital payments business with the introduction of the latest version of its application. The firm has partnered with Yes Bank to enable UPI transfers and digital wallet services from its messenger.
  • The introduction comes ahead of rival WhatsApp’s entry into digital payment expected later this year. Whatsapp, which counts India among its largest market, has about 20 crore users in the country.
  • Hike till now has raised more than $250 million. Its investors include Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group.
  • Founder and CEO: Kavin Bharti Mittal

India and Portugal inks pact to Promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

  • India and Portugal have signed an agreement of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India.
  • These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.
  • The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914.

India ratifies UN TIR Convention

  • India became the 71st country to join the United Nations TIR(International Road Transports) Convention system, to position itself as a regional trading and transit hub. The TIR system is the international customs transit system with the widest geographical coverage.
  • The TIR procedure enables goods to move under customs control across international borders without the payment of the duties and taxes.
  • Accession to TIR will help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement which it has already entered into this year.
  • The Indian traders will get access to fast, reliable and hassle-free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means. It will improve India’s cross-border road transport.

Mahindra unit wins contract from Airbus

  • Mahindra Aerostructures, an arm of Mahindra Aerospace, won a contract from Airbus to manufacture and supply components made of hard metals (aerospace steel, titanium and inconel) for A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft.
  • Mahindra Aerostructures would execute the work together with France-based Segnere SAS., which has experience working with hard metals and supplies components directly to Airbus.
  • Executive Director & CEO of Mahindra Aerospace: Arvind Mehra

NASA finds 10 Earth-sized exoplanets

  • NASA revealed 10 new rocky, Earth-sized planets that could potentially have liquid water and support life. The Kepler mission team released a survey of 219 potential exoplanets — planets outside of our solar system — that had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy. Kepler has already discovered 4,034 potential exoplanets, 2,335 of which have been confirmed by other telescopes as actual planets.
  • Ten of the new discoveries were orbiting their suns at a distance similar to the Earth’s orbit around the sun, the so-called habitable zone that could potentially have liquid water and sustain life.
  • The 10 new Earth-size planets bring the total to 50 that exist in habitable zones around the galaxy.

Pakistan begins fencing its border with Afghanistan

  • Pakistan has begun to fence its over 2,400-kilometre-long, porous border with Afghanistan to improve security. In the first phase high infiltration-prone border areas in Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber Agencies are being fenced. In the second phase, fencing of remaining border areas including the restive Balochistan province will be executed.
  • The two nations are divided by the 2,400-km Durand Line, drawn by British rulers in 1896. Afghanistan does not recognise it as an international border, causing friction between the two neighbours, with Pakistan suggesting Afghanistan has designs on part of its territory.
  • The line runs through ethnic Pashtun territory, dividing families and tribes between the two countries.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags PM first Yoga Award

  • Pune's Ramamani Iyenger Memorial Yoga Institute has been selected as the first recepient of the Prime Minister's Award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of Yoga. The selection was done from among 85 nominations received and 15 more recommended by the screening committee.
  • Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute has worked to spread Yoga both domestically and internationally over a period of four decades.
  • On June 21, last year, Prime Minister had announced awards for the promotion and development of yoga.

Reliance Defence inks Pact with Yugoimport to Manufacture Ammunition in India

  • Reliance Defence Ammunition which is a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure has entered into a strategic partnership with Serbia’s state-run Yugoimport to manufacture ammunition in India. The joint venture is expected to target business opportunities worth Rs 20,000 crore from Indian armed forces in the next 10 years.
  • Both the companies would undertake joint development of next generation ammunition to cater to the needs of the future requirements of the Indian armed forces.
  • Reliance Defence Ammunition will set up a greenfield facility for the production of ammunition. India at present imports around 50% of its ammunition with an annual spending of more than Rs 10,000 crore.

SpiceJet plans to buy 50 turboprops for $1.7 billion

  • SpiceJet announced plans to purchase 50 Q400 turboprop aircraft worth $1.7 billion from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, a day after signing a pact for buying 40 Boeing 737 MAX planes. At the current exchange rate, the order will be worth over Rs. 10,900 crore.
  • SpiceJet CMD: Ajay Singh

Taj Palace becomes first Indian building to get trademark

  • The iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the Mumbai city has acquired an 'image trademark', making it the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. The hotel, which has been a defining structure of Mumbai's skyline, has joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House.

The Netherlands halts India’s run

  • The Netherlands handed out India its first defeat, prevailing 3-1, in their match at the Hockey World League League. All the goals came in the first two quarters of the match with the Netherlands scoring through Thierry Brinkman (2nd minute), Sander Baart (12th) and Mirco Pruijser (24th), while Akashdeep Singh scored for India with a brilliant field strike.
  • The loss, however, did not make any impact on India’s chances in the tournament as it had already qualified for the quarterfinals as it registered wins in their first three games. India will take on Malaysia on Thursday while the Netherlands will face China in the quarterfinals on the same day.

World team chess championship: Indian men trounce USA

  • A resurgent trio of B. Adhiban, K. Sasikiran and Parimarjan Negi pulled off impressive victories as India produced a robust performance to trounce USA 3.5-0.5 in the fourth round of the World team chess championship. The triumph lifted India to the fifth spot with four match-points.
  • Padmini Rout doubled India’s joy as she won her third board battle against Poland’s Karina Szczepkowska in the only decisive battle, lasting 77 moves.