09th Aug 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Government gives funds to States/UTs under NAM to develop AYUSH System of Medicine

  • Central Government released Rs. 41711.849 lakhs fund to State/UT Governments under National AYUSH Mission (NAM). Abbreviation AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
  • For special Category states (NE States and three hilly States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir)grant-in-aid component is 90% from Govt. of India and remaining 10% is to be the State contribution towards all components under the scheme. For other States/UTs the sharing pattern is 75% : 25%.
  • Supporting the cultivation of medicinal plants is financed 100% by Central Government in North Eastern State and hilly State of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir where as in other states it is shared in the ratio of 90:10 between Centre and States.

Maharashtra Government to raise $270 mn from Green Climate Fund

  • 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG) will help the Maharashtra Government to raise $270 million from the Green Climate Fund, which will be invested in integrated watershed programs in the state.
  • For raising money from the Green Climate Fund, Maharashtra State Level Climate Change Committee will endorse the proposal next week, after which it would be referred to the Central Government.
  • The approvals will be in place in early 2018 and it could take a year to get the funding. Fund will also be used in crop diversification and adding market linkages.

Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaign

  • In a bid to eliminate measles and curb instances of rubella by 2020, Union Government has rolled out the second phase of its measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country.
  • Union Health Ministry’s campaign against these two diseases intends to cover approximately 41 crore children in a phased manner, making it the largest-ever worldwide.
  • In the second phase, nearly 3.4 crore children across eight states and union territories —Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu — will be covered.

Meeting of Regional Technical Group on Trade, Commerce and Investment CBM of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process held in New Delhi

  • The meeting was attended by representatives of 17 participating countries and supporting international  organizations.
  • The participants shared the view that Afghanistan acted as a natural bridge in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration.
  • There was an agreement that economic development was an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia Region.
  • The participants had also discussed on various measures and plan to promote transit and trade and realizing reliable and robust connectivity, with Afghanistan as the hub.
  • The recent establishment of the air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan was also welcomed.
  • It will provide quick and assured access to farmers of Afghanistan to the large markets in South Asia.

Centre declares entire Assam as “disturbed area” under AFSPA under another month

  • The Home Ministry has said the entire Assam, besides bordering areas of Meghalaya, have been declared “disturbed” under the AFSPA for three months with effect from 3rdof May.
  • There were 75 incidents of violence in Assam in 2016 in which 33 people, including four security personnel, were killed and 14 others were kidnapped.
  • There were also nine violent incidents in the state in which four people, including two security personnel, were killed in 2017.
  • The violence were committed by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others.
  • The ministry also declared three districts of Arunachal Pradesh – Tirap, Changlang and Longding –besides areas falling under 16 police stations bordering Assam as “disturbed” area under the AFSPA for three more months.

Coconut regains tree status in Goa as Assembly Passes Bill

  • Goa Legislative Assembly has passed a bill which regain coconut as a `tree, ensuring legal protection for it
  • The Assembly, on the last day of Monsoon session has passed the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of) Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees and reclassify it as tree.

International Current Affairs

India to MGC nations – Expand areas of cooperation

  • At the Eighth Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines, India called for expanding the areas of cooperation among the member countries of the bloc to further deepen mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.
  • India has proposed to add newer areas of cooperation to the traditional areas on tourism, culture, education, transport and communication.

Business & Economy

 Bajaj Auto ties up with Triumph to make mid-capacity motorcycles

  • The aim of this partnership is to deliver a range of outstanding mid-capacity motorcycles
  • Triumph will benefit from this partnership by expanding its global reach and entering new higher volume markets while Bajaj will in return, gain access to Triumph’s motorcycles and its technologies.
  • It will include brand position and perception, design and development technology, quality and cost competitiveness and worldwide distribution.
  • The partnership will significantly expand its global reach by entering new higher volume market segments, especially within the emerging markets across the world.
  • It will enable to offer a wide range of motorcycles within its domestic market and other international markets.

Flipkart to launch “Budding Star Program”  for staff

  • Flipkart is going to launch a program under which the e-commerce major will provide financial assistance to employees.
  • The program will cover all national and international sports and non-sports competitors recognized by the govt. authorities.
  • It will not support regional or state-level competitions and leisure or tourist activities.
  • Flipsters who have completed six months with the company are eligible for the ‘Budding Star Program’.
  • This program will allow Flipsters to pursue their passion beyond work.
  • Those shortlisted based on evaluation by an internal company panel will get up to `3 lakh in assistance.

ONGC plans to invest $150 million in Colombia, Kazakhstan & Bangladesh

  • ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp has planned to invest $150 million in exploration to drill more wells in Colombia, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.
  • ONGC Videsh, which operates the CPO-5 block of Colombia, has made a commercial discovery in its exploration well Mariposa-1.
  • The company is also making up plans for the development of the Mariposa-1well that has begun a test production of 4,500 barrels per day.
  • ONGC has 70% participating interest in CPO-5 block in which the remaining 30% stake in held by Amerisur Resources of UK.
  • ONGC has participating interest in a total of six blocks in Colombia. It includes producing block whose current output is 35,000 barrels per day.
  • Drilling has begun in the Kazakhstan block in the Caspian Sea while preparations are on to drill the first well in Bangladesh.
  • The output is expected to rise further 15% in the current fiscal year to 14.35 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe)-Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent.
  • The company has also entered Namibia’s oil and gas sector with a purchase of 30% interest from Tullow Oil in the African country’s three oil blocks.
  • This would help push up oil production from the field by 4000 barrels/day from the current 7000 barrels/day.

Netflix buys comic book publisher Millarworld

  • The two companies will bring Millarworld’s portfolio of character franchises to life through films, series and children’s shows available exclusively to Netflix members.
  • Netflix is the leading platform globally with 104 million members in over 190 countries.
  • It offers over 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. 
  • Millarworld developed the comic books and story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Logan (Wolverine),” which collectively grossed over $3 billion at the global box office.
  • Millarworld was started the company and its co-creators have created 18 published character worlds.

People in News

Dev Patel to be honored with Asia Society Game Changers Award

  • Indian-origin actor Dev Patel is to behonored by a leading educational organization for making a “transformative and positive” difference for the future of Asia and the world.
  • Patel was born in London who became popular with his debut film “Slumdog Millionaire”.
  • He will be felicitated with the Asia Society 2017 Asia Game Changers Award at a ceremony to be held at the United Nations, New York, in November.
  • He was recently seen in Garth Davis “Lion”, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for the best actor in a supporting role.

Indian-American appointed deputy comptroller for minority affairs of Nassau County

  • Indian-American Dilip Chauhan has been appointed Deputy Comptroller to the minority affairs in Nassau County
  • Chauhan had joined the Comptroller’s office in 2015 as Director for Community Affairs, South and East Asia.
  • He has served as senior advisor to the Comptroller since early 2017.
  • Chauhan has been recognized with numerous awards for his community service.
  • He would continue to support the Comptroller’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for minority and women owned enterprises to do business with Nassau County.
  • Chauhan is an active member of the Indian community in the New York area.

Environment and Ecology

India’s first micro forest being built in Chhattisgarh

  • The land of 19 acres of land which housed around 70 government office buildings in Chattisgarh’s Raipur is being converted into India’s first micro forest to create an oxy-zone.
  • This move is mainly to create an oxyzone in the midst of packed houses in the heart of the city.
  • Under this, they will plant trees and also creating their own microcosmic forest.
  • The micro forest will provide fresh air to Raipur which is the 7thmost polluted city in the world.
  • It will be open to the public in the next 8 months.

Sports Current Affairs

 Ravindra Jadeja becomes No.1 test all- rounder in the ICC 2017 rankings

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankingsRavindra Jadeja has been ranked as World No. 1 all-rounder after eclipsing Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.
  • Following his Man-of-the-Match performance of 70 not out and seven wickets to help top-ranked India beat Sri Lanka by an innings in Colombo on August 6, 2017, Jadeja has displaced Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasanto claim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for all-rounder for the first time in his career.