Daily Current Affairs - 26th Aug 2017

Bangladesh pushes back Rohingya refugees

  • Bangladesh’s border guards pushed back 146 Rohingya refugees who were coming to the country in the wake of fresh tensions between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar security forces. An estimated 87,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar and come to Bangladesh since late last year, following a military offensive in Rakhine that began in October.
  • The Rohingya people are Muslim Indo-Aryan peoples from the Rakhine State, Myanmar. They were rejected by the country they call home and unwanted by its neighbours, the Rohingya's are impoverished, virtually stateless and have been fleeing Myanmar in droves and for decades.

Centre's housing scheme’s target cut down

  • The Union government’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which promises housing for all by 2022 has cut down the scheme’s target. The project was launched in June 2015, which promised to construct 1.87 crore houses. The estimation of 1.87 crore houses was based on a 2012 survey.
  • The centre's reason for scaling down the target is it found the demand to be less. Now it targets to construct 1.2 crore houses.
  • The Centre seeks to construct 26 lakh houses in 2018-19, 26 lakh in 2019-20, 30 lakh in 2020-21 and 29.80 lakh in the 2021-22 period.

DLF to sell 40% stake in rental arm to GIC

  • The DLF board approved the sale of 40% equity held by DLF’s promoters in its rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers Limited to an affiliate of Singapore-based GIC Real Estate for Rs. 11,900 crore, terming it one of the largest private equity transactions in Indian real estate.
  • The proposed transaction which still need corporate and regulatory approvals, implies an enterprise value of Rs. 35,617 crore for DCCDL.

Expert Committee on Data protection to submit report by year end

  • The Centre expects the expert committee working on a framework for data protection to submit its report by the end of this year. This could give greater clarity on data privacy requirements that could be imposed on companies like Google and Facebook.
  • The Centre had formed a 10-member panel led by former Supreme Court judge Justice B.N. Srikrishna, to submit its report by the end of this year. The panel main objective is to identify “key data protection issues” and propose a framework for a data protection law.

Farah ends track career in style

  • Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah ended his track career in thrilling fashion with victory in the 5,000m at the Diamond League final. He clocked 13min 06.05sec to defeat Paul Chelimo of the United States and Muktar Edris of Ethiopia. It was also Farah’s first career Diamond League trophy.
  • The 34-year-old Farah, also a six-time World champion who will now switch to road running.

Maldives jails its last remaining Opposition leader

  • The Maldives’ last remaining Opposition leader in the country was handed a prison sentence as President Abdulla Yameen stepped up a crackdown on political dissent in South Asia’s troubled nation.
  • Qasim Ibrahim, who heads the Jumhooree Party (JP) was accused of leading a failed bid in March to impeach Speaker Abdulla Maseeh, a close ally of Mr. Yameen.
  • Jumhooree Party (JP)is one of four parties in the archipelago’s Opposition coalition that wants to defeat Mr. Yameen at elections next year and sees the impeachment of the Speaker as a first step to taking control of Parliament to ensure free and fair polls.

Moss serves as a cheap pollution monitor

  • According to Japanese scientists, mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used to measure the impact of atmospheric change and could prove a low-cost way to monitor urban pollution.
  • Bioindicators such as mosses which generally absorb water and nutrients from their immediate environments - were often cheaper to use than other methods of environmental evaluation, and can also reflect changes to ecosystems.
  • They responds to pollution or drought-stress by changing shape, density or disappearing, allowing scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations.

Narendra Modi directs government officals for field visits

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed government officers not to restrict themselves to files but to make field visits to understand the true impact of decision-making.
  • Mr. Modi urged the over 80 Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries to focus their attention on 100 most backward districts and bring them up to the national average level on various development parameters.

Pakistan population surged by more than half

  • According to provisional results of the country’s first census released by the statistics board, Pakistan’s population has surged by more than half to 207 million. Pakistan could be set to overtake Brazil as the world’s fifth most populous country according to statistics on the U.S. Census Bureau website.
  • The provisional results published showed an average annual growth of 2.4% since 1998, when the total population was put at 132.35 million.
  • Top 5 Most populous countries: China, India, United States, Indonesia and Brazil

RBI to boost printing of Rs. 200 notes

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said production of the newly-circulated Rs. 200 note is being increased up by currency printing presses and will be made available in adequate quantities. These new notes will be distributed across the country through the banking channels and will be available for public in adequate quantity.

Squash: Saurav and Joshna in final

  • Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa entered the men’s and women’s finals of the 74th HCL National squash championship. The two players, with 25 National championship titles between them with Joshna having 14, will face familiar opponents.
  • Saurav won defeating Kush Kumar 11-3, 11-3, 11-4, will be challenged by Mahesh Mangaonkar, whom he had beaten in the final a few years ago.

Task Force formed to study Artificial Intelligence for development

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has constituted a Task Force chaired by V. Kamakoti of IIT Madras to explore possibilities to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for development across various fields.
  • The task force will have official participation from NITI Aayog, Ministry of Electronics and IT, Department of Science & Technology, UIDAI and DRDO.
  • The ‘task force on AI for India’s Economic Transformation’ will submit concrete and implementable recommendations for government, industry and research institutions.

Tennis: Ankita Raina loses in quarters

  • Ankita Raina was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 by Ayla Aksu in the quarterfinals of the $60,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament. She made it to the doubles semifinal in partnership with Gabriela Ce.
  • In the Futures tournament in Istanbul, Sasi Kumar Mukund was beaten in three sets by fourth seed Ivan Nedelko in the quarterfinals.

US imposes financial sanctions on Venezuela

  • The United States has slapped strong financial sanctions on Venezuela, barring banks from any new deals with the government. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in this regard which prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state oil company.
  • It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government.
  • Recently the Venezuelan government established the constitutional assembly which granted Maduro's party sweeping powers.
  • Venezuela has been engulfed in an economic crisis, featuring skyrocketing inflation and food shortages.

World badminton championships: Sindhu and Saina enter semis

  • Saina Nehwal got the better of Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour 21-19, 18-21, 21-15 to make her way to the semi-finals of the World Badminton Championships. Earlier, PV Sindhu dominated her opponent Sun Yu of China and won the match 21-14, 21-9 to storm into the semi-finals.
  • Meanwhile Kidambi Srikanth went down fighting 14-21, 18-21 to world No. 1 Son Wan Ho of Korea in men's singles competition.