Daily Current Affairs - 18th Aug 2017

Indian Army to get six Apache AH-64E helicopters

  • The Indian Army will get its first attack helicopters, after the Defence Ministry cleared a long pending proposal to procure six AH-64E Apache helicopters from USA at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore.
  • The Apache attack choppers are one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, featuring all-weather and night-fighting features.

Agri-marketing should be in the Concurrent List: Dalwai panel

  • Dalwai panel on Agri-marketing has called for placing agricultural marketing in the Concurrent list and recommended greater private sector participation in agri-marketing and logistics.
  • The one-India market concept may benefit from placing agricultural marketing under the Concurrent List (in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution)

All-Women Navy team to circumnavigate the globe

  • Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe on an Indian-built sail boat INSV Tarini. This is the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.
  • Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi will lead crew on eight-month voyage.
  • INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei. The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’.

Ancient species of giant sloth discovered

  • Mexican scientists have discovered the fossilised remains of a previously unknown species of giant sloth that lived 10,000 years ago and died at the bottom of a sinkhole.
  • The Scientists have named the new species Xibalbaonyx oviceps.
  • n initial analysis suggests the sloth lived between 10,647 and 10,305 years ago, an era when giant creatures of all kinds roamed the earth.

Canada work visas: Indians beat chinese

  • Canada attracts more Indians than Chinese, be it for work or acquiring citizenship.
  • Statistics shows that 13,670 Indians obtained work visas under Canada's international mobility programme as opposed to just 8,680 Chinese.
  • The number of Chinese students is slightly higher, with inflows of students from China standing at 25,315 as opposed to 20,845 from India.

Cultural Extravaganza Celebrates the Spirit of New India Movement

  • The cultural extravaganza celebrating the spirit of New India Movement in the ongoing ‘SankalpParva-Sankalp Se siddhi’ (Attainment through Resolve) - a Sankalp Sandhya was organised by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Cultural and Tourism administered the New India Pledge to all participants. He called upon people to focus on new India movement for achieving the goal as enshrined in New India Movement.

E-toll lanes at all national highway plazas from Sept 1

  • All toll plazas on national highways will have electronic toll collection facility with at least one lane dedicated to vehicles with electronic tag device, known as FASTags, beginning September 1.
  • FASTags is a device that can be installed on the windshield of any vehicle, and toll payments can be made directly from the pre-paid account linked to it. Hence such vehicles do not have to stop at toll plazas for payment of fees.
  • The dedicated FASTag lanes will become operational at all 371 national highway toll plazas from September 1.

Emma stone is highest paid actress

  • “La La Land” star Emma Stone has surpassed Jennifer Lawrence to claim the top spot in Forbes’ highest-paid actresses list.
  • She claimed the top spot by earning $26 million in the last 12 months. Ms. Lawrence, who was at the top spot for two consecutive years, was third on the list this year.
  • Jennifer Aniston is on the second spot, with her earnings of $25.5 million.

Environment Minister Launches “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” Campaign

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign.
  • The Minister impressed upon the children the importance of their contribution towards reducing pollution by not bursting harmful fire crackers during Diwali.
  • As a part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry will undertake various activities to create awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution.

India is now the hottest destination in the retail space

  • India has topped the Global Retail Development Index in 2017, overtaking China.
  • According to CBRE’s India Retail MarketView Report – H1, 2017, seven new global brands entered the country and investments into the segment by firms/wealth funds touched $200 million.

Lakshya Sen,wins Bulgarian Open International Series

  • Uttarakhand shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • It his first major win in the international circuit in the senior category outside India.

Malala Yousafzai gets a place at Oxford

  • Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai secured a place at Oxford University.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize winner follows in the footsteps of numerous world leaders by studying philosophy, politics and economics at the prestigious varsity.

NHAI launches mobile App MyFASTag and FASTag Partner

  • National Highways Authority of India launched two mobile Apps – MyFASTag and FASTag Partner , to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
  • The mobile Apps will ease the process, making it possible to buy or recharge FASTags at the click of a mobile button.
  • MyFASTag is a consumer App, a consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags on this App.
  • FASTag Partner is a merchant App. Agencies like Common Services Centre, banking partners and vehicle dealers can sell and enroll FASTag through this App.

PM addresses Young Entrepreneurs at the "Champions of Change"

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Young Entrepreneurs at the "Champions of Change" initiative organised by NITI Aayog.
  • The Prime Minister described the "Champions of Change" initiative as one effort to bring together diverse strengths for the benefit of the nation and society.
  • Several Union Ministers, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog Shri Arvind Panagariya, and senior Union Government officers were present on the occasion. The event was coordinated by CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant.

President gives away National Safety Awards (Mines)

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Safety Awards (Mines) for the years 2013 and 2014 at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • The mineral sector contributes 2.6 per cent of our national GDP and provides direct employment to over one million people on a daily average basis, and helps the lives of their families.
  • Coal Mines –Belowground with difficult mining conditions Award winner is---Jamadoba Tata Steel Ltd.
  • Coal Mines – Opencast Award winner is ----Urimari Project Central Coalfields Ltd.

Saudi reopens Qatar border for haj pilgrims

  • Saudi Arabia announced that it is reopening its border with Qatar to allow Qataris to attend the haj.
  • This action taken despite a monthslong rift between Doha and four Arab countries led by Riyadh that prompted both sides to trade accusations of politicizing the pilgrimage .

Tata Power introduces QR code for bill payment

  • Tata Power has introduced a QR code service for bill payments in the megapolis.
  • The QR code linked to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be printed on the electricity bills and customers can scan the code with Bhim app or any other UPI-linked bank apps and pay their bills without any hassle.
  • The bill details will be displayed on the app, after which the customer can authorise the payment within a few seconds and his bill will be paid instantaneously with a real time update of the payment in his consumer account.