Daily Current Affairs - 25th Dec 2017

Bengaluru Becomes First Indian City to have its Own Logo

  • Karnataka's capital city Bengaluru has become the first Indian city to have its own logo after the state government launched it.
  • The logo was designed by a design start-up and uses both English and Kannada alphabets.
  • The red and black logo is part English and part Kannada. With this, Bengaluru joins a select group of global cities like New York City, Melbourne and Singapore to have a tourism logo of its own.

Book on Gauri Lankesh’s Writings Launched

  • A book containing selected writings by late journalist Gauri Lankesh was launched at the Mumbai Press Club, three months after she was gunned down.
  • The book, The Way I See It - a Gauri Lankesh Reader, has been edited by writer and sociologist Chandan Gowda.

China conducts maiden flight of indigenous amphibious aircraft

  • China successfully conducted the maiden flight of its first indigenous amphibious aircraft, believed to be the world’s largest, in southern Guangdong Province.
  • The aircraft AG600, code named “Kunlong”, lifted off from the Jinwan Civil Aviation Airport in Zhuhai in Guangdong. The flight lasted about one hour.
  • Designed to be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, the AG600 will be mainly used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires and marine monitoring.

China has shut 13,000 websites since 2015

  • China has shut down or revoked the licenses of 13,000 websites since 2015 for violating the country’s Internet rules, state media reported.
  • The news comes as the country continues to strengthen its already tight regulation of the Internet, a move which critics say has picked up pace since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times are all blocked in China, among countless other foreign websites.

Dr Jitendra Singh launches electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS) on Good Governance Day

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS).
  • He launched it during the observance of Good Governance Day by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • Good Governance Day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Govt Mint Launches First Home-Grown High Purity Gold Reference Standard

  • India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard - the Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND-4201) - was launched at the India Government Mint, Mumbai.
  • BND-4201, which is the reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99 per cent pure), will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure purity of gold.
  • Gold reference standard is indispensable in gold and jewellery hall marking. This will also be useful for Collection and Purity Testing Centres to certify the purity of gold deposits under the gold monetisation scheme.

Govt. pushes deadline for MRP display

  • The government has allowed companies, till March 2018, to paste price stickers on unsold packaged products to reflect new MRP post GST.
  • After the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect from July 1, companies were asked to use stickers on unsold packaged commodities to display new maximum retail price (MRP) till September, which was later extended till December.
  • When rates of about 200 items were cut in mid-November, the Ministry permitted companies to paste additional stickers under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.

Indian boxers claim 3 gold, 1 silver & bronze medal at Galym Tournament

  • Indian boxers have claimed three gold, a silver, and a bronze medal at the Galym Zharylgapov Boxing Tournament in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. In the event that concluded the country's Gold Medal winners were K Shyam Kumar in 49kg, Naman Tanwar in 91kg and Satish Kumar in the +91kg category claimed gold medals.
  • The silver medal came through national champion Manish Kaushik in 60kg, while Mandeep Jangra accounted for the Bronze in the 75 kg category after going down in the semifinals.

Manu Bhaker picks up ninth gold at National Shooting Championship

  • Haryana's talented pistol shooter Manu Bhaker bagged her ninth gold medal by winning the junior mixed team event at the 61st National Shooting Championship Competitions.
  • Manu also won the junior women's 10m air pistol, the junior women's civilian air pistol as well as the youth women's air pistol individual gold medals along with the team gold in these events.

Odisha recognised as 'Champion State' for exports

  • The Centre has recognised Odisha as a 'Champion State' for recording the highest growth in exports during 2016-17.
  • The exports from the state have increased from Rs 19,082 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 40,872 crore in 2016-17 with merchandise exports from Odisha registering the highest growth rate of 114 per cent among all the states.
  • The major sectors of exports in Odisha are aluminum, products of aluminum, iron ore, processed minerals, iron, steel, marine products, residual chemical and allied products, textiles and IT and ITES.

Public sector banks' NPA hits Rs 7.34 lakh crore at September-end

  • Bad loans of Public sector banks (PSBs) stood at Rs 7.34 lakh crore by the end of second quarter this fiscal, a bulk of which came from corporate defaulters, according to Reserve Bank data.
  • However, on the other hand private sector banks' non- performing assets (NPAs) were considerably low at Rs 1.03 lakh crore by September 30.
  • Among the major public sector banks, State Bank of India (SBI) had the highest amount of NPAs at over Rs 1.86 lakh crore followed by Punjab National Bank (Rs 57,630 crore), Bank of India (Rs 49,307 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 46,307 crore), Canara Bank (Rs 39,164 crore) and Union Bank of India (Rs 38,286 crore).
  • Among private sector lenders, ICICI Bank had the highest amount of NPAs on its books at Rs 44,237 crore by the end of September, followed by Axis Bank (Rs 22,136 crore).

Rising NPAs in education loan add to banks' stress

  • As per the data compiled by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), the total outstanding education loan at end of the fiscal 2016-17 was Rs 67,678.5 crore, of which Rs 5,191.72 crore was NPA.
  • The NPA was 5.7 per cent in 2014-15, which rose to 7.3 per cent in the following fiscal and further to 7.67 per cent in the last financial year.
  • The government had earlier modified the IBA's Model Education Loan Scheme with a view to reduce the incidence of NPAs in the segment.

Shubhankar wins title in final round

  • Shubhankar Sharma pipped Rashid Khan at the post in a classic encounter at the PGTI’s year-end McLoed Russel Tour Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).
  • The 21-year-old golfer from Chandigarh, who recently became the youngest Indian to win a European Tour.
  • With this win he annexed his sixth professional trophy and the winner’s cheque of Rs. 22,50,000.

Sushil Becomes PWL's Most Expensive Wrestler at Rs.55 lakh

  • Sushil Kumar was wanted by all the teams ahead of the new season of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) and the bidding war created history in New Delhi.
  • Sold to Delhi Sultans for a whopping amount of Rs 55 lakh, Sushil is now the most expensive player in the history of the tournament.
  • PWL 3 is slated to begin from January 9, 2018 and the auction in underway as teams fight to pick the best players and set up a strong team. Sakshi Malik, India's 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, was bought by the Mumbai Maharathi side for Rs.39 lakh. World Championship gold medalist Helen Maroulis was bought for Rs.44 lakh by Haryana Hammers.

System helps machines think just like humans

  • Scientists have developed a new type of neural network chip that can dramatically improve the efficiency of teaching machines to think like humans.
  • The network, called a reservoir computing system, could predict words before they are said during conversation, and help predict future outcomes based on the present.
  • Researchers from University of Michigan in the U.S. created the system using memristors, which require less space and can be integrated more easily into existing silicon-based electronics.
  • Memristors are a special type of resistive device that can perform both logic and store data.

US President Signs $1.5 Trillion Tax Overhaul Law

  • US President Donald Trump has signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code, two days after the Republican plan was adopted by Congress in a major political victory.
  • Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago as Congress passed the 1.5 trillion dollars overhaul, set to impact every corner of the economy through dramatic tax cuts for corporations and temporary reductions for individuals.

Vijender Singh beats Ernest Amuzu to retain WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific pro boxing titles

  • Vijender Singh defended his WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific super middleweight titles against Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
  • This was his 10th straight win in his pro boxing career. Vijender had put both his titles, WBO Oriental Super Middleweight and WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight, on the line and now has successfully defended them.

Yes Bank sets up MTN programme to raise $1 bn

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank said it has established a Medium Term Note programme to raise $1 billion (over 6,400 crore) by issuing debt securities on private placement basis.
  • The bank can raise money, in Indian or foreign currency through various means, including the issuance of debt securities such as non-convertible debentures, MTNs, tier I/II bonds, as well as long-term infrastructure bonds.