Daily Current Affairs - 08th Oct 2017

103rd birth anniversary of Hindustani classical singer Begum Akhtar

  • Google posted a special doodle on its home page to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of ‘Mallika-e-Ghazal ‘ Begum Akhtar.
  • Begum Akhtar is regarded as one of the most veteran and revered Ghazal singers in India and is also called Mallika-e-Ghazal.
  • Born on October 7, 1914, she was a renowned Indian singer of Ghazal, Dadra, and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music. She went on to receive the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music, and was also awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan (posthumously) by the Indian Government.

American Morgan Hurd wins all-around title

  • American Morgan Hurd won the all-around title at the gymnastics world championships in Montreal .
  • The 16-year-old won the United States' seventh straight Olympic or world all-around title by edging out Canada's Elsabeth Black .
  • Russia's Elena Eremina took third Japan's Mai Murakami was fourth, followed by Melanie de Jesus dos Santos of France.
  • Hurd's triumph makes her the youngest Olympic or world all-around champion since Aliya Mustafina in 2010.

AOL Instant Messenger to say goodbye

  • AOL announced that it is discontinuing its pioneering Instant Messenger chat platform after 20 years of service.
  • The chat platform will be discontinued on December 15
  • Launched in 1997, AOL Instant Messenger was at the forefront of what was called at the time the biggest trend in online communication since email.

Chhattisgarh bans use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride

  • Chhattisgarh state government has banned the use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride -PVC. The advertising and promotion materials like PVC banners, flex, and hoardings have also been banned with immediate effect.
  • The state government has also banned the manufacture, storage, import, sale, transport and use of such plastic-borne goods. Chhattisgarh government decision is with an objective to conserve and improve the environment.
  • According to the notification issued by the government these plastic-borne goods cause blockages in drains and gutters, leading to serious environmental problems.

Drug to fight Chikungunya discovered by IIT Roorkee scientists

  • Scientists at IIT-Roorkee have found that a commonly used deworming drug has anti-viral properties and could lead to new therapies against Chikungunya- a deadly, mosquito borne disease.
  • Currently, there are no vaccines or antiviral drugs available to cure Chikungunya, and the treatment is focussed on relieving the symptoms associated with the infection.
  • Piperazine is a drug commonly used in deworming treatments against roundworm and pinworm. Scientists, using their expertise in virology and structure biology, discovered antiviral potential of piperazine and determined the mechanism of inhibition of Chikungunya virus.

Filmmaker Kundan Shah passes away

  • Veteran director Kundan Shah, best known for the dark comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, passed away.
  • He had studied direction at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and made his feature film debut in 1983 with the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983).
  • The film did not become a box office success but Shah received his first and only National Award — Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director — for the movie, which later went on to become one of the most celebrated dark satirical comedies in the history of Indian cinema.
  • Shah returned the award during the student protest in his alma mater FTII in 2015.

Finance Ministry makes Aadhaar mandatory for small saving schemes

  • The government has made biometric identification Aadhaar mandatory for all post office deposits, Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra.
  • Finance Ministry has issued four separate Gazette notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for opening all post office deposit accounts, Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra deposits.
  • Existing depositors who have not provided Aadhaar number at the time of application for such deposit "shall submit his Aadhaar number to the post office savings bank or deposit office concerned, on or before December 31, 2017.

GST Council reduces tax rates on 27 items, approves quarterly return filing

  • In a major relief to common man, small traders and exporters, the GST Council has reduced tax rates on 27 items and allowed the filing of returns on the quarterly basis. The GST Council meeting held under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in New Delhi yesterday decided to reduce the GST rates on dried mangoes, Khakhra, plain chapatis, unbranded Namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicines and paper wastes to 5 percent from 12 percent.
  • Food packets used in ICDS scheme, plastic and rubber wastes will now be taxed at 5 percent instead of 18 percent. Man-made Yarn will be taxed at 12 percent instead of 18 percent.
  • The GST Council also approved the quarterly filing of returns for businesses with turnover upto 1.5 crore rupees besides raising the threshold for composition scheme from 75 lakh rupees to one crore rupees

Hamilton seizes Suzuka pole with record lap

  • Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton smashed the Suzuka track record to seize a dominant Japanese Grand Prix pole position on Saturday with Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel lining up alongside on the front row.
  • The Mercedes driver produced a stunning fastest lap of one minute and 27.319 seconds for his first pole at the 5.8km track and 71st of his career.
  • The time shattered seven times world champion Michael Schumacher's previous outright best at the circuit by 1.6 seconds.

Indian Navy Foils Piracy Attempt in Gulf OF Aden

  • A piracy attempt on the high seas was foiled by an Indian Naval warship INS Trishul
  • a stealth frigate of the Indian Navy whilst on Anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden.
  • The Indian Navy has been deploying a warship in the waters in and around the Gulf Of Aden since 2008 and has safely escorted hundreds of merchant vessels through these treacherous waters. Indian ships are mandated to prevent piracy and are not mandated for regional law enforcement. The actions taken by the ship are the rationale for the continued deployment of Indian ships for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

PM Modi lays foundation stone for bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays foundation Stone of 4 laning of Porbandar Dwarka section.
  • Prime Minister has said that cable stayed bridge between Okha Port and Bet Dwarka is an effort to establish the historic links between this two places.
  • This will enhance economy and trade business and employment at local level. He said that government is emphasising on 1600 km long sea coast of Gujarat for port led development to encourage blue economy.
  • Prime Minister also announced to set up country's biggest Marine police research Institute in Devbhumi Dwarka district in Dwarka.

Sania Mirza-Shuai Peng bow out of China Open

  • Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Shuai Peng have exited the China Open being played in Beijing in the semifinals after losing in the Super Tiebreak. The win allowed Martina Hingis and her Taiwanese partner Chan Yung-jan to progress forward into the final where they face Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova.
  • Mirza and Peng had lost in the semifinals last week to the same opponents. Then Hingis and Chan went on to lift the title in Wuhan.
  • In the singles competition at the WTA Premier Manadatory tournament, Simona Halep moved into the final by beating Jelena Ostapenko.

Sudan welcomes US decision to lift 20-year-old trade sanctions

  • The Sudanese government welcomed the US administration’s decision to permanently lift the 20-year-old economic sanctions on the African country.
  • It also called for cancellation of the negative procedures taken by US institutions against Sudan.
  • The Sudanese government urged the US to remove Sudan from its list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

US approves possible sale of THAAD missile to Saudi Arabia

  • The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD anti-missile defence system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $15 billion.
  • The approval opens the way for Saudi Arabia to purchase 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and 360 missiles, as well as fire control stations and radars.
  • THAAD missile systems are deployed to defend against ballistic missile attacks.