14th Sep 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Cabinet Approvals on September 12 2017

On 12th September 2017, the cabinet approved introduction of certain bills and MoU’s for the socio- economic welfare of the people residing within it.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves development of six laning of Narasannapeta-Ranastalam section of National Highway (NH) – 16 in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves doubling of Daund-Manmad Railway Line for promoting Speedy, Reliable & Safe Service.
  • Cabinet approves release of additional 1% Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners with effect from 01.07.2017. This move of increasing additional 1% from 4% is to compensate for price rise as suggested by 7th pay commission.

 

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on September 12 2017

On September 12, 2017, the Union cabinet gave its approval for signing of MoU’s between Armenia, Japan and Morocco with respect to multiple fields. These MoU’s will enhance the bilateral ties between nations.

The areas of co-operation are

  • Treating Communicable and non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer
  • Maternal, child and neonatal health;
  • Drug Regulation and Pharmaceutical quality control;
  • Hospital twinning for exchange of good practices;
  • Training in administration and management of health services and Hospitals;
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Armenia on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management
  • Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Japan for collaborative research in the field of silkworm and silk industries.

 

India starts producing world’s most expensive coffee

On 11th September 2017, India has started producing ‘Civet Coffee’ the most expensive coffee in the world, in Karnataka.

Civet Coffee:

  • Civet Coffee is made from the feces of a species of cat called ‘Civet Cat’.
  • Coffee plantation is done close to the forest.
  • Civet cats eat the flesh of the coffee cherries and digest the coffee beans as whole. This induces a flavour into the coffee beans. The coffee beans are then collected from the feces of the Civet Cat. They are cleaned, processed and Civet Coffee is produced from that.
  • Due to the low amount of availability and wastage during processing this coffee is priced very high. One kilogram of this coffee sells for Rs.8000 in India and at Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 in abroad.
  • This is consumed largely in the Middle East and Europe.
  • The initiative of producing this coffee has been taken by a Karnataka startup called ‘Coorg Consolidated Commodities’.
  • This coffee is named as ‘Ainmane’ by the company.

About Karnataka:

  • Capital – Bengaluru
  • Official language – Kannada
  • Governor – Mr.Vajubhai Vala
  • Chief Minister –Mr.Siddaramaiah

 

Six month ‘cooling off’ period for granting divorce can be waived: Supreme Court

On 12th September 2017, the Supreme Court declared that the 6-month ‘cooling off’ period for granting divorce can be waived, in New Delhi.

About the waiver of 6 month ‘cooling off’ period:

  • The Supreme Court declared that the 6 month cooling off period under the Hindu Marriage Act for getting divorce is not mandatory. The local judges can decide about waiving off that period.
  • Currently, if a Hindu couple applies for divorce, the couple has to wait for 18 months to get the divorce. Where they have to spend 12 months in separation and the next 6 months is considered as cooling off period.
  • The 6 month period can be waived off under the following circumstances:
  • The divorce has been applied through mutual consent
  • The couple had already lived separately for a minimum of 1 year
  • All the efforts to re-unite the couple have failed
  • The couple has settled alimony, child custody etc. without any issues

 

Govt launches hackathon ‘OpenGovDataHack’ to promote app ideas

The Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a nationwide hackathon ‘OpenGovDataHack’ to support and showcase potential ideas and talent from inner India.

Key Points:

  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) have collaborated to conduct the hackathon at Jaipur, Chennai, Noida, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Hyderabad and Surat.
  • The hackathon aims to enable participants develop their ideas into apps and infographics primarily by the use of open government data.
  • The themes of ideas include drinking water and sanitation, transport, education, health after which it can be evaluated by a jury and are selected for prizes and support or funding.
  • Workshops will be organised variously for sensitisation, identifying problem statements and data gathering across the country in which students, start-ups, academics, and industry can participate.

 

PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe lay foundation stone for bullet train

Foundation stone of India’s first high-speed rail project (bullet train) project was jointly laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Sabarmati Station ground in Ahmedabad.

The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project

MAHSR project is joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan’s Shinkansen Technology.

Speed: The train will cover distance of over 508 km from Sabarmati (Gujarat) to Bandra (Mumbai, Maharashtra) in around 2.58 hours at high speed of 320 kph from the existing 7-8 hours. In case of rapid high-speed, it will cover the distance in 2.07 hours.

Stations: On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, 12 stations have been proposed: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

Route: For most of its route — 471 km out of 508 km, train will run at elevation of 18 metres — primarily to ensure it travels over the existing railway route. The remaining 37 km includes 7 km undersea stretch between Thane and Vasai and 15 km underground route in Mumbai. It will be India’s longest tunnel (around 21-km-long) – that will be dug between Boisar and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

Funding: Of the total project cost of Rs.1,10,000-crore, 80% cost of Rs 88,000 crore will be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as soft loan at interest of 0.1% per annum. This loan will be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.

Make In India: As per agreement between India and Japan, MAHSR Project has “twin, complementary objectives viz. localised manufacture and transfer of technology. It will give stimulus for advanced components’ manufacture and construction, one of the stated objectives of the project is Make in India. It will create around 15 lakh new jobs in India.

High Speed Rail Institute

Both leaders also laid foundation stone of High Speed Rail Institute to be set up at Vadodara (Gujarat). This institute will come up inside National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara where more than 4000 engines of High Speed Rail Corporation of India will be given training by Japanese professionals.

India’s second bullet train project

  • The Indian Railways will launch country’s second high-speed train project between Delhi and Amritsar (Punjab) via Chandigarh.
  • The project will be completed by 2024.
  • Train on this route will run on standard broad gauge and cover 458-km-long route in 2 hours and 30 minutes running at a speed of 300-350 kmph, reducing travel time by about two and half hours between both destinations.
  • Proposed stops on this route are Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar.

 

Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

The Ministry of External Affairs has started Operation Insaniyat to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crisis being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations.

Operation Insaniyat

  • Under this operation, India will provide relief material consisting of items including rice, sugar, salt, pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and mosquito nets to the affected people.
  • The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments.
  • The first tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane.

Background

  • According to UN estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 2017 when a fresh wave of violence had erupted Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
  • The violence had started after Rohingya militants belonging to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (also known as Harakat al-Yaqeen or Faith Movement) had attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
  • Following this attack, Myanmar’s military had launched violent crackdown on insurgents from Muslim Rohingya population which led to mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.

 

14 September: National Hindi Divas

The National Hindi Divas, an annual literary-day is observed on 14 September in Hindi speaking regions of India and other countries with Hindi speaking population.

  • Observance of this day aims to propagate Hindi language and its cultural heritage and values. It also seeks to promote Hindi as matra bhasha (mother tongue) of India and show its importance as a language in country and world at large.
  • On this occasion President Ram Nath Kovind will present the Rajbhasha awards for Year 2016-17 at Rashtrapati Bhawan. These awards were instituted by Department of Official Language of Union Home Ministry to recognize excellent contribution of Ministries, Departments and Nationalized Banks in field of Hindi.

National Hindi Divas

  • Hindi Divas is celebrated to mark adaptation of Hindi language as the official language of India by the Constituent Assembly of India on 14 September 1949.
  • The decision of using Hindi as official language was ratified by Constitution of India which came into effect on 26 January 1950.
  • Under the Article 343 of Indian Constitution, Hindi written in Devanagri script was adopted as the official language. But presently, there are 2 official languages: Hindi and English.

 

Chennai-Vladivostok sea route: India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR

India is planning to launch major connectivity initiative, connecting Chennai with key Russian port Vladivostok via sea route with an aim to harness natural resources from Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region.

The Chennai-Vladivostok sea route will enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.

Key Facts

  • The proposed maritime route can be transformed into corridor that could juxtapose with Indo-Japan Pacific to Indian Ocean Corridor to counter China’s Maritime Silk Route (MSR) under Border Road Initiative (BRI) which connect entire South East Asia through road, shipping and rail links.
  • Russia is sensitive to growing Chinese presence in Russia’s Far-eastern region particularly increasing population from China which are settling there. It fears that this pattern could change demographics of Far-east Russia. The growing presence of other countries including India will help to bring balance China’s presence in far east region.

 

Government launches Wood is Good Campaign

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched “Wood is Good” Campaign under Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus).

  • It was launched on sidelines of two-day conference on “Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice” in New Delhi.
  • The purpose of campaign is to promote wood as climate-friendly resource and substitute to materials like steel and plastic as it is carbon neutral unlike others materials which leave carbon footprint in their production.

Need for Campaign

  • Forests are integral part of Indian culture and tradition. Government is committed to increase forest cover from 24% to 33% of geographical area and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in forests, as reflected in Internationally Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) Forest plus.
  • Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus) is joint programme of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and MoEF & CC to strengthen capacity for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in India.
  • It brings together experts from India and US to develop technologies, tools and methods of forest management to meet technical challenges of managing forests for health of ecosystem, biodiversity, carbon stocks and livelihood.

REDD

  • The REDD Programme is collaborative programme of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was created in 2008 in response to UNFCCC decisions on Bali Action Plan and REDD at COP-13. Its goal is to reduce forest emissions and enhance carbon stocks in forests while contributing to national sustainable development.
  • REDD should not be confused with “REDD+”, a voluntary climate change mitigation approach that has been developed by Parties to UNFCCC. Thus, REDD is a multilateral body that partners with developing countries to support them in establishing technical capacities needed to implement REDD+ and meet UNFCCC requirements for REDD+ results-based payments.

 


International Current Affairs

INDRA 2017: India-Russian to conduct first tri-services military exercise

India and Russia have begun discussions to work out modalities for conducting their first tri-service military exercise INDRA 2017 in October 2017 in Russia. It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services. The Final Planning Conference (FPC) of exercise will be held from September 2017 in Russia to finalise all logistical issues and modalities.

Key Facts

  • The 2017 Indra exercise will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of two countries in tri- services integrated theatre command scenario. The aim of exercise is to carry out joint exercises for suppression of international terrorist activities under United Nations mandate.
  • Indian Army will send about 350 soldiers from infantry, artillery and armoured streams. Indian Navy is fielding two ships, stealth frigate, INS Satpura, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kadmatt, along with two on-board helicopters.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to share fighter jets of host.
  • The headquarters of Integrated Defence Staff under Defence Ministry is leading exercises from Indian side. India’s efforts for tri-service integration will provide opportunity to synergise jointness between its services and see how other countries function jointly.

 

Global Human Capital Index 2017: India ranks 103

India ranked low 103rd out of 130 countries surveyed on World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Human Capital Index (GHCI) 2017. In the previous edition, India ranked 105th.

The GHCI measures countries’ ability to nurture, develop and deploy talent for economic growth against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (reskilling and continued upskilling of existing workers) and know-how (specialised skills-use at work).

Key Highlights of 2017 GHCI

Top 10 countries: Norway (1st), Finland (2nd), Switzerland (3rd), United States (4th), Denmark (5th), Germany (6th), New Zealand (7th), Sweden (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Austria (10th).

Among BRICS: India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers. Russia (16th), China (34th), Brazil (77th) and South Africa (87th).

Among South Asian countries: India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka (70) and Nepal (98). But it ranked higher than neighbouring Bangladesh (111) and Pakistan (125).

India related Facts: In terms of development of skills needed for the future India ranks 65th. However, India ranks lower because of number of factors. It ranks lowest (last) in world when it comes to employment gender gap. It also ranks low 110th in educational attainment (primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds) and low deployment of its human capital, meaning the skills available are not getting put to good use. India ranks 118 for labour force participation among the key 35-54 year old demographic, means that too many Indians are engaged in informal or subsistent employment.

 

India, Japan ink 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral co-operation

India and Japan have signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in several key areas including investment promotion, civil aviation, and science and technology.

The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after 12th annual summit talks in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Both leaders also reviewed entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation.

Some of Signed Agreements

  • MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange
  • MoC in field of Japanese Language Education in India
  • Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky)
  • MOC between Ministry of Home Affairs and Cabinet Office of Japan
  • India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METI
  • MoU between DBT and National Institute of Advanced Science & Technology (AIST)
  • Arrangement between India Post and Japan Post for the Implementation of Cool EMS service.
  • MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related Activities.
  • MOC between METI and Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special programme for Make In India’ in Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj in Gujarat
  • India-Japan Act East Forum: To enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in North East India in efficient and effective manner.
  • Joint Research Contract India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and between National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan.
  • Agreement for International joint exchange programme between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences programme, RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences.

 

Halimah Yacob declared as the first female President of Singapore

On 13th September 2017, Ms.Halima Yacob was declared as the first ever female President of Singapore, in Singapore. Ms. Halimah Yacob was selected as the President without election.

The first female President of Singapore:

  • She was the first female Speaker of Parliament in 2013, in Singapore.
  • Out of the three presidential candidates only she was given certificate of eligibility for the post.
  • She has raised her voice for women’s rights, senior citizens and mental health issues.
  • She has been a patron to associations like Club HEAL and Singapore Muslim Women’s Association.

About Singapore:

  • Capital – Singapore
  • Currency – Singapore dollar
  • Official language – English, Malay, Huayu, Mandarin & Tamil
  • President – Ms.Halimah Yacob
  • Prime Minister – Mr.Lee Hsien Loong

 

UN imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

On 12th September 2017, The UN Security Council imposed strong sanctions on North Korea, to ban its textile exports and reduce fuel provided to it, in Washington.

Sanctions on North Korea:

  • The UN Security Council unanimously voted to declare sanctions on North Korea to ban its textile exports and reduce 30 % of oil supplied to it.
  • This sanction was declared as a result of North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test on September 2017.
  • UN member states are now ordered to block imports of textiles from North Korea.
  • Fuel supply to North Korea has been reduced by 2 million barrels a year.
  • The only way for North Korea to escape from this political isolation is to stop destructive nuclear testing.

About North Korea:

  • Capital – Pyongyang
  • Currency – North Korean won
  • Official language – Korean
  • Supreme Leader – Mr.Kim Jong-un

 


Banking & Finance

 RBI to introduce Rs 100 Coin to mark MG Ramachandran birth centenary

RBI will introduce Rs 100 coins to mark the birth centenary of MG Ramachandran. He was the AIADMK founder and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

Key Points:

  • The Rs 100 coin will be 44 millimeter in diameter, with a metal composition of silver (50%), copper (40%), nickel (5%) and zinc (5%).
  • The standard weight of Rs 100 coin will be 35 grams while that of Rs 5 coin will be 6 grams.
  • The obverse of the Rs 100 coin will bear “Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar” in the centre, with the legend “Satyamev Jayate” inscribed below in Devnagari.
  • The government will also introduce new Rs 5 coin, which will be 23 millimeter in diameter and made of copper (75%), zinc (20%) and nickel (5%).
  • The reverse of the Rs 100 coin shall bear the portrait of MG Ramachandran in the centre.
  • It has inscription of Ramachandran in Devnagari on upper periphery and Dr MG Ramachandran birth centenary in English on the lower periphery of the coin.
  • It shall also bear the Rupee symbol and denominational value Rs 100 in international numerals below the Lion Capitol.

 

Paytm Payments Bank partners with NPCI for RuPay digital card

Paytm Payments Bank (PPB) has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch a RuPay-powered digital debit card announced on 12th of Sept. 2017.

Key Points:

  • Through the PPB Digital debit card customers will now be able to transact at all merchants who accept credit and debit cards.
  • The RuPay-powered digital debit card will be issued to all customers who have opened their bank accounts with PPB.
  • Existing Paytm users need to complete a KYC process to become an account holder with PPB.
  • The debit card will have the facility to come with a free insurance cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh in the case of death or permanent total disability.
  • Paytm owns 51% stake in PPB while One97 Communications which runs Paytm owns the remaining 49%.

About Payments Bank

  • Payments banks are a new model of banks conceptualised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • These banks can accept a restricted deposit, which is currently limited to Rs1 lakh per customer and may be increased further.
  • These banks cannot issue loans and credit cards. Both current account and savings accounts can be operated by such banks.
  • Payments banks can issue services like ATM cards, debit cards, net-banking and mobile-banking.
  • Airtel has launched India’s first live payments bank. Paytm is the second such service to be launched in the country.

 


Business

 Bharti Airtel, SK Telecom of Korea ties up for advanced telecom network in India

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has announced a partnership with South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom to build the most advanced telecom network in India announced on 13th of Sept. 2017.

Key Points:

  • The companies will work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies.
  • Under the partnership, both the companies will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools and building customized tools to improve network planning based on every customer’s device experience.
  • The companies will also work to evolve standards for 5G and advanced technologies like network functions virtualisation (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • It will help in identifying, monitoring and delivering improvements to the network experience on an individual device basis and will be a first in India.
  • SK Telecom has led the development of the global mobile telecommunications industry by launching CDMA (2G), WCDMA (3G) and LTE–A (4G) for the first time in the world.
  • The company has been offering up to 500 Mbps 4G speed using carrier aggregation technology.
  • SK Telecom is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 29 million mobile subscribers, which accounts for around 50% of the total market.

 


Appointments & Resigns

Raj Shah appointed as Principal Deputy Press Secretary in US

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Raj Shah as Principal Deputy Press Secretary in US announced on 13th Sept. 2017.

Key Points:

  • Shah has served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director.
  • Shah was Director of Opposition Research in the Republican National Committee before moving to the White House.
  • Trump has also appointed Hope Hicks as his Communications Director. Hicks previously served as Assistant to the President and Interim Communications Director.
  • Mercedes Schlapp, a Fox News contributor and columnist for The Washington Times, will serve as Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications.
  • Steven Cheung has appointed as Director of Strategic Response. He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Communications Director.

 


Awards & Recognition

Raghunandan Money honoured with Krishi Pragati Award 2017 by NCDEX

On 7th September 2017, Raghunandan Industries Private Limited was awarded Krishi Pragati Award 2017, by National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX), in New Delhi.

Krishi Pragati Award 2017:

  • The Krishi Pragati Award 2017 has been awarded to appreciate the outstanding contribution made by Raghunandan Industries in the area of Agricultural Commodities.
  • Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Mr.Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs gave away the award to Mr.Saurabh Mittal, Founder & MD of Raghunandan Money.
  • Raghunandan Industries, is a part of Raghunandan Money Group. It offers commodities broking services.
  • Raghunandan Money provides financial services such as demat, equity, derivatives, currency trading, mutual funds, life insurance, general insurance etc.

About NCDEX (National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited):

  • Headquarters – Mumbai
  • MD & CEO – Mr.Samir Shah

 

HDFC Bank becomes the second most valuable company on BSE

On 12th September 2017, HDFC Bank became the second most valuable company in BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), in India, in terms of market capitalisation.

HDFC as the second most valuable company:

  • Reliance Industries is in the 1st place currently.
  • HDFC has replaced TCS in the 2nd position now.
  • HDFC and TCS were in close competition. During the close of trade on 12th September 2017, HDFC’s share had higher value than TCS.
  • Market value of HDFC has increased in value by 53 % this year.
  • HDFC’s performance improvement in retail banking has helped it climb up the ladder.

About HDFC (Housing Development Financial Corporation):

  • Headquarters – Mumbai
  • MD – Mr.Aditya Puri

 

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) wins “Container Terminal of the Year” Award 2017

On 13th September 2017, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) was awarded “Container Terminal of the Year” Award, in Mumbai.

Container Terminal of the Year:

  • JNPCT was given the award in ‘The Gateway Awards 2017’ held at Mumbai.
  • This is the 10th edition of the Gateway Awards.
  • The award was received by Mr.Neeraj Bansal, Deputy Chairman of JNPCT.
  • The Gateway Awards are given to appreciate best practices, innovation and motivation in the Indian Maritime industry.
  • JNPCT was awarded the ‘Container Terminal of the Year’ award for its excellent strategies to reduce congestion, smooth delivery of containers and renovation of infrastructure to carry out trade even in unfavourable conditions.

About Ministry of Shipping:

  • Headquarters – New Delhi
  • Minister – Mr.Nitin Gadkari
  • Ministers of State – Mr.Pon Radhakrishnan, Mr.Mansukh L.Mandaviya

 

74th Venice Film Festival Awards 2017

Golden Lion 2017The 74th annual Venice International Film Festival was held from 30 August to 9 September 2017. The most important award is the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and considered one of the most prestigious film awards, like the Golden Palm in Cannes and the Golden Bear of Berlin.

Details of the awards:

Golden Lion                –  The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro

Grand Jury Prize        –  Foxtrot, directed by Samuel Maoz

Silver Lion                  –  Best Director Xavier Legrand, Jusqu’à la Garde

Volpi Cup                    –  Best Actress Charlotte Rampling, Hannah

Volpi Cup                    –  Best Actor Kamel El Basha, The Insult

Best Screenplay         –   Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 


Science & Technology

PayU partners with IRCTC, provides online payment services to IRCTC users

On 11th September 2017, Payment gateway provider PayU announced its collaboration with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in New Delhi.

Partnership between PayU and IRCTC:

  • PayU and IRCTC have joined hands to provide users a safe and secure option to make payment for rail tickets booked on the IRCTC website.
  • Now PayU is available as a payment option under the Multiple Payment Services or MPS option on the IRCTC website at the payment page.
  • PayU India handles more than Rs.6500 crores worth of digital transactions every month.

About IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation):

  • Subsidiary of the Indian Railways
  • Headquarters – New Delhi

 


Sports

Asian Games gold medalist Priyanka Panwar banned for eight years

On 12th September 2017, Asian Games gold medalist Priyanka Panwar was suspended for eight years after she tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug, in New Delhi.

About the ban:

  • Priyanka Panwar a 29 year old Indian athlete won gold medal in 4x400m women’s relay at the 2014 Asian Games.
  • She had tested positive for a banned stimulant during a national inter-state athletics competition in 2016.
  • The suspension was announced by suspension by National Anti Doping Agency’s (NADA) disciplinary panel.
  • The ban is for eight years with effect from July 2016. This might probably end her career.
  • Priyanka Panwar already tested positive for a banned drug in 2011 and was put on a ban for 2 years.
  • According to the rules of NADA, a person tested positive for drugs for the second time will get a maximum ban of 8 years.

About NADA:

  • National Anti Doping Agency
  • Purpose – controlling doping among sports persons
  • Chief – Mr.Navin Agarwal

 


Obituary

LGBT rights activist Edith Windsor passed away

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor, whose same-sex marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, passed away on 12 September 2017. She was 88.

It was Windsor’s efforts that Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.

About Edith Windsor

  • Born on 20 June 1929, Edith “Edie” Windsor was an American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist.
  • She was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court of the United States case United States v. Windsor, which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. It was considered a landmark legal victory for the same-sex marriage movement in the United States of America.
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