Daily Current Affairs - 25th Aug 2017

Award for CSIR-NGRI scientist Shakeel Ahmed

  • An exploration geophysicist, Shakeel Ahmed has been selected for the prestigious NGRI-Association of Hydrologists of India’s Indian Hydrology Award.
  • He is currently the senior-most chief scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-NGRI.
  • Dr. Ahmed’s efforts in Indo-French collaboration took a quantum leap in 1999 when he was part of the collaborative initiative in setting up the Indo-French Centre for Ground water Research.

Bandhan Bank begins IPO process

  • Bandhan bank, has initiated the process of making an initial public offer.
  • As per the Reserve Bank of India directives, Bandhan Bank have to make an IPO within three years of commencing operations.
  • The bank has a Rs.23,500 crore deposit base and a Rs.20,800 crore loan book.
  • Bandhan Bank founder, managing director and chief executive officer is Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

China agrees to tackle trade imbalance

  • China has agreed to send a high-level official team led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan by December-end to address the issue of growing trade imbalance with India.
  • The development could be termed a breakthrough for India which faces ballooning goods trade deficit with its neighbor.
  • Beijing had agreed to address India’s concerns regarding China’s ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures’ hurting Indian farm products exports to that country.
  • Anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China.
  • The trade deficit was $52.7 billion in 2015-16.

EPFO organizes Tiranga Yatra

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, is participated in the celebrations of 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement by organizing Tiranga Yatra in Mumbai.
  • The Tiranga Yatra was flagged off by the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya.
  • Shri Dattatreya raised slogan “corruption Quit India and make swacch India”.

Festival of India being Organised in Brazil

  • A Festival of India is being organized in Brazil from 31 August-9 September 2017.
  • The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture, i.e. classical dances, literature, cuisine and Exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Events will be held in the cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF)

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the golden jubilee and foundation day celebrations of Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation at Pune.
  • The prime minister emphasised the need for focussing on the growth of livestock sector and said skill training should be provided to womenfolk, who play a crucial role in this area.
  • The Centre has recently announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to address the storage problem and promote processing and value addition.

India to create infrastructure and establish social institutions in Nepal

  • India is partnering to create physical infrastructure and establish social institutions in Nepal.
  • Enhanced connectivity between the two countries will boost economic growth and renewed focus should be given to projects like Terai Roads, Rail links, integrated check posts, as well as Raxaual-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline.
  • There was immense potential for bilateral cooperation in hydro-power sector and both countries should work for expeditious implementation of Pancheshwar project signed in 1996.

Indian Navy Band to Participate in International Military Music Festival in Moscow

  • The International Military Music Festival "Spasskaya Tower" is the parade of the best military music bands of Russia and other countries that takes place every year at Red Square in Moscow.
  • This Music Festival is a mega event, where military musicians represent the variety of national, artistic and military traditions of the world.
  • A Tri-Services band from the Indian Armed Forces has been invited to participate and perform in the prestigious event.
  • The participation of the Tri- Services Band would foster better ties between the Armed Forces of the two countries and is also a befitting acknowledgment of the professional skills of the Indian Armed Forces bands.

Karnataka ties up with Microsoft to develop India’s first Farm Price Forecasting Model

  • Karnataka Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with software giant Microsoft India to develop a unique “farm price forecasting model.
  • The proposed initiative is claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in the country. It will aid farmers from states to predict farm prices in advance and deal effectively with the unpredictable market.
  • It is a “multi-variate” one that takes into consideration various factors beyond the conventional supply-demand equation while forecasting the prices for crops. It will examine a slew of related factors including weather, rainfall and external factors that impact market behavior.

List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the State Visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India

  • 1.MoU on Modalities for Utilization of India’s Housing Grant Component to support Reconstruction of 50,000 Houses.
  • 2.MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Education,Cultural Heritage and Health Sector in Nepal.
  • 3.MoU for Implementation Arrangement on Cost Sharing, Schedules and Safeguard Issues for Construction of Mechi Bridge under ADB's SASEC Road Connectivity Programme (Tranche 2), Funded by GoI.
  • 4.MoU on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemical and Related Matters.
  • 5.MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal.

Microsoft launches Project Brainwave for real-time Artificial Intelligence

  • Software giant Microsoft has launched Project Brainwave, a deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Real-time AI is becoming increasingly important as cloud infrastructures process live data streams, whether they be search queries, videos, sensor streams, or interactions with users.
  • The 'Project Brainwave' uses the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure that Microsoft has been deploying over the past few years.

Nandan Nilekani appointed non-executive chairman of Infosys

  • Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of India’s second-largest software services exporter, returned to the Infosys board after an 8-year hiatus as the firm’s chairman.
  • The board had unanimously approved Mr. Nilekani’s appointment as the non-executive chairman of the board.
  • R. Seshasayee, chairman of the board, along with former CEO and managing director Vishal Sikka, Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy had stepped down from the board.

National Museum New initiative on “Small Temporary Exhibitions”

  • The National Museum took a new initiative on “Small Temporary Exhibitions” from its reserve collection.
  • The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract large number of visitors to view new artifacts every fortnight.
  • The first temporary exhibition on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department was inaugurated by Smt. Rashmi Verma, in National Museum, New Delhi.

NITI Aayog launches Mentor India Campaign

  • The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has launched Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders for guiding and mentoring students at Atal Tinkering Labs.
  • The Mentor India Campaign aims at maximising the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs by engaging leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.
  • More than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs have been established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission.
  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission is among one of the flagship programs of the Government to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

Odisha Government launches rooftop solar project

  • Odisha Government has launched a grid-connected rooftop solar programme through net-metering system at the State Secretariat in capital city of Bhubaneswar.
  • The programme aims at harnessing renewable solar capacity through people’s participation to further strengthen the grid and reduce power losses and benefit the public.
  • The programme is being implemented by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA). Under it, consumers from state can install subsided small solar plants on their rooftops and consume the generated solar power during daytime.

Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth enter World Badminton Championships quarters

  • Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V.Sindhu and K. Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the World badminton championship in the singles events at the Emirates Arena.
  • Sindhu, who twice won a bronze medal at the 2013 and 2014 editions, survived a scare against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi.
  • Saina Nehwal beat Sung Ji Hyun of Korea to become the first woman to reach the quarter-finals at seven successive World Championships.

Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat crash out of World Wrestling Championship

  • Indian contenders Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat crashed out in the first round of World Wrestling Championship in Paris. Sakshi and Vinesh went down in their respective Round of 16 bouts.
  • Sakshi was stunned by Luisa Niemesch of Germany 1-3 in women's 60kg, while two-time junior world champion Victoria Anthony of USA got a fall over Vinesh Phogat in 48kg.
  • Other Indians in the fray Sheetal Tomar (53kg) and Navjot Kaur (69kg) also bowed out of the tournament.

Supreme Court declares right to privacy as Fundamental right under constitution

  • The nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar in a landmark unanimous decision has declared right to privacy a fundamental right under the constitution.
  • With this, the apex court overruled its own previous eight-judge Bench and six-judge Bench judgments of M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh delivered in 1954 and 1961, respectively, both of which had pronounced that the right to privacy is not protected under the constitution.
  • The Supreme Court of India’s judgment gains international significance as privacy enjoys a robust legal framework internationally, though India had earlier remained circumspect.