Daily Current Affairs - 09th Aug 2017

Amazon to help Titan reach U.S.

  • Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, said it was helping India’s watch-to-jewellery maker Titan Company to foray into online selling in the United States through its Global Selling Programme.
  • The partnership would enable Titan to take its range of watches to global customers on Amazon.com in the U.S. and eventually across other Amazon marketplaces.
  • Titan, which has more than 200 million customers and 7,000 retail stores spread across 30 countries.
  • The global watch market is expected to surpass $90 billion by 2019, according to research firm Technavio.
  • CEO, Watches and Accessories, Titan Company: S. Ravi Kant

Bajaj to make Triumph motorcycles in India

  • Triumph Motorcycles of the U.K. and Bajaj Auto have entered into a partnership for the manufacture of Triumph-branded motorcycles in India for the global market. The partnership aims to deliver a range of mid capacity motorcycles out of India.
  • Triumph-branded motorcycles will be made at Bajaj Auto’s plant at Chakan, near Pune. The partners will develop a new range of motorcycles in the sub-800 cc capacity. To begin with, the ASEAN and African markets are the targets.
  • The idea is to combine Triumph’s global brand image and Bajaj’s low-cost manufacturing prowess. Triumph bikes globally start from 675 cc and this tie-up will give them an opportunity to scale down the capacity curve.

Bharti Airtel sells 3.65% in tower arm

  • Bharti Airtel had sold 6.75 crore shares, about 3.65% stake, in its tower firm Bharti Infratel for Rs. 2,570 crore. The sale was executed at a price of Rs. 380.6 per share, representing a discount of 4%.
  • The company sold part of Bharti Infratel equity held through its wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd. through a secondary share sale in the stock market, both at the BSE and the NSE.

Centre forms panel to make drugs more affordable

  • The Centre has constituted a committee of Joint Secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens. The formed committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients. The committee would also review the scope of Drugs (PriceControl) Order 2013 and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order.

Centre’s reply sought on J&K special status

  • The Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to a petition challenging the continuing validity of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution giving special autonomous status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The petitioner asked the court to clarify if Article 370 was supposed to have lapsed automatically with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on January 26, 1957. It asked whether the J&K Constitution, which neither got the mandatory assent or approval of the President of India, was valid at all.

Dipak Misra to be 45th Chief Justice of India

  • The Centre cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28. Justice Misra, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after the present Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
  • Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011. He enrolled as a lawyer on February 14, 1977 and was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996.

Gene study rewrites Neanderthal history

  • U.S. researchers found a new way to use DNA to peer into the history of humanity in rewriting what experts know about our long-extinct cousins, the Neanderthals.
  • Previous research has suggested that near the end of their existence some 40,000 years ago, only about 1,000 Neanderthals were left on Earth.
  • But the new study shows their population was far larger — likely numbering in the tens of thousands — though they existed in isolated groups across Europe.
  • The genetic clues include Neanderthal DNA that contains mutations that usually occur in small populations with little genetic diversity.
  • Using a new method to analyse DNA sequence data, researchers also found that Neanderthals split from another mysterious lineage, known as the Denisovans, about 7,44,000 years ago, much earlier than any other estimation of the split.
  • After that, the global Neanderthal population grew to tens of thousands.

IMD: 100% monsoon quota this year

  • The India Meteorological Department has said India will get normal rain during the remaining months of the monsoon season. India is likely to get 100% of its annual monsoon quota of 89 cm, a slight increase over the 98% forecast by the agency in June.
  • This year, the IMD formally launched a new forecast model — the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS) — that employs supercomputers to forecast the monsoon. This is in addition to the statistical system traditionally employed.

Kerala, Haryana top sanitation survey

  • Almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana had access to a toilet while Bihar fared the worst, as per the findings of a government commissioned survey on rural sanitation.
  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households, undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June this year.
  • The survey, covering 4626 villages across all States and Union territories, claimed that 62.45% of the households had access to a toilet. The survey also pointed that 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it, indicating a change in sanitation behaviour.
  • Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets. In Bihar, only 30% of the rural households had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%.

Kipyegon clinches 1500m crown

  • Faith Kipyegon of Kenya added the World title to her Olympic crown after sprinting to a thrilling victory in the women’s 1500m in 4min 02.59sec. American Jennifer Simpson claimed silver while South Africa’s 800m specialist Caster Semenya taking bronze.
  • Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Omar McLeod added the World 110m hurdles title to his Olympic crown.

Kynan Chenai wins bronze at 7th Asian Shotgun

  • Indian shooter Kynan Chenai won a bronze in men's trap event, his first international medal at the senior level, at the 7th Asian Championship Shotgun at Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • Kynan first shot 116 out of 125 to qualify for the six men final round in third sport and then held on to the position till the end of the finals. India have so far won two golds and a bronze in the competition.

NITI Aayog announces partnership with 6 states to transform Health & Education sectors

  • NITI Aayog has shortlisted Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka under its 'Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital', (SATH )initiative to handhold them and transform their health sector. The Aayog has also selected Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha under its SATH initiative to transform their education sector.
  • A Program Management Unit was formed 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.
  • The government think tank had invited all states and Union Territories to participate in its SATH initiative to transform Health and Education sectors.

North Korea considering missile strikes near US Pacific territory of Guam

  • North Korea says it is considering missile strikes near the US Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with fire and fury. It was mulling a plan to fire medium-to-long-range rockets around Guam, where US strategic bombers are based. The statement marks a sharp rise in rhetoric between the two countries.
  • The UN recently approved further economic sanctions against the country.

PM Modi to meet district magistrates to discuss New India initiative

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss the New India initiative and 2022 development agenda during his interaction with district magistrates. The interaction has been named New India Manthan will be first such live address by the Prime Minister to the District Heads through webcast who are the implementing authorities of all welfare schemes of the Central government.
  • The interaction comes a month after Mr Modi interacted with chief secretaries of all states and union territories in a day-long meet over their role in Transforming India.

Ravindra Jadeja tops ICC ranking among all-rounders in Test Cricket

  • India's Ravindra Jadeja edged out Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan to claim the top-rank among all-rounders apart from maintaining top position in the bowlers' chart in the latest ICC test match rankings. Jadeja currently has 438 points among the all-rounders while Shakib has 431 points
  • In the bowlers' list Ravichandran Ashwin dropped a place to be third with Jimmy Anderson a notch below Jadeja.
  • Steve Smith and Joe Root are still at No 1 and 2 position in batsmen rankings. Cheteshwar Pujara gained a place to be third among batsmen while Virat Kohli maintained his fifth position.

Sindhu to lead Indian challenge in BWF World badminton championships

  • The Indian shuttlers will take part in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles, apart from mixed doubles in BWF World badminton championships, to be played from August 21 to 27 at Glasgow, Scotland. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) named a 21-member squad for the Scotland competition. P. Gopi Chand is part of the seven-member team of coaches.
  • Women players and their respective ranks : P.V. Sindhu (5), Saina Nehwal (16), Rituparna Das (46) and Tanvi Lad (91). Doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa & Sikki Reddy (25), Sanjana Santosh & Arathi Sunil (38), J. Meghna & Poorvashri Ram (41).
  • Men: K. Srikanth (8), Ajay Jayaram (16), Sai Praneeth (19) and Sameer Verma (28). Doubles: Manu Attri & Sumeeth Reddy (31). Satwik Sairaj & Chirag Shetty (37). Shlok Ramachandran & M. Arjun (41).

Start-up funding may come under SEBI lens

  • Market regulator SEBI is concerned with the manner in which start-ups are being funded through unregulated entities and is examining the manner in which alternative fund-raising platforms and crowd-funding ventures can be regulated to bring in transparency and regulatory oversight in such deals.
  • The regulator has recently formed a panel under T.V. Mohandas Pai, former CFO of Infosys , to look into this issue and advise on ensuring that market disruption does not come at the cost of investor protection and market integrity.
  • The start-up ecosystem has gained significance especially after the government's Make in India initiative and important departments including the Department of Economic Affairs and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion are pushing regulatory bodies to create an investor-friendly ecosystem for such ventures.
  • SEBI chairman: Ajay Tyagi

World Athletics Championships: Wayde Van Niekerk retains men's 400m title

  • In World Athletics Championships, Olympic Champion Wayde Van Niekerk won the men's 400 meters event and retained his title in London. The World Record holder South African Niekerk, clocked 43.98 seconds to finish at the top of podium. Steve Gardiner of Bahamas finished second in the event while Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar claimed the Bronze.
  • In the men's 800 meter French man Pierre-Ambroise Bosse with a time of One minute 44.67 seconds is the new World Champion.