Current Affairs Update - 13th September 2017
London retains top rank in 2017 Global Financial Centres Index
- Despite Brexit, London has been able to retain its top position in the Global Financial Centres Index 2017 (GFCI), according to a survey by Z/Yen Partners and the China Development Institute (CDI).
- The GFCI is released twice a year, in March and September, and ranks 92 financial centres.
- The index witnessed a fall in the score of New York by 24 points, which is the largest fall among the top 15. While London's total score experienced a dip by only 2 points, which is the smallest decline in top 10.
- Listed below are factors on which rankings are based: Infrastructure, Human Capital, Business Environment, Financial sector development, Reputational and general factors
Brexit: Theresa May's landmark EU withdrawal bill passes first parliamentary hurdle
- Theresa May’s landmark EU (Withdrawal) Bill has passed its first parliamentary hurdle, paving the way for greater powers to be handed to ministers through the first major piece of Brexit legislation.
- MPs passed the legislation – often referred to as the Repeal Bill – by 326 votes to 290, giving the Government a majority of 36 after no Conservatives rebelled and several Labour politicians defied Jeremy Corbyn’s instruction to vote against.
Science & Technologies
Pluto mountains named after Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary
- NASA's New Horizons team proposed the names to the IAU following the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons by the New Horizons spacecraft. Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes are mountain ranges honouring Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986) and Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008).
- Two mountain ranges on Pluto have been named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary respectively by the International Astronomical Union, which for the first time, has officially approved the naming of 14 features on the icy dwarf planet. These are the first geological features on the planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015.
Defence Ties High On Agenda During Belarusian President's India Visit. Belarus President: Alexander Lukashenko.
- India and Belarus are expected to ramp up their bilateral cooperation, including in defence and security, as the eastern European country's President Alexander Lukashenko is on a two-day visit to New Delhi.
- The visit takes place in a year when Belarus and India are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
- During the visit, Lukashenko is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday.
PayU partners with IRCTC, lends online payment services to users
- Payment gateway provider PayU on Monday announced its collaborations with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide users a safe and secure option to pay for rail tickets booked via the IRCTC website.
- PayU will now be available as a payment option under the Multiple Payment Services or MPS option on the IRCTC website at the payment stage of booking an e- ticket. Clicking on this option will enable users to make a safe and secure transaction via various payment options like internet banking, debit/credit card and e-wallet.
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.
- With 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. Following this, they will be issued a free digital RuPay card.
- This debit card will come with a free insurance cover of up to Rs 2 lakh in the case of death or permanent total disability.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
Los Angeles gets official green light to host 2028 Olympics
- Los Angeles has received its formal go-ahead to host the 2028 Olympics, getting a thumbs-up from the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission, the full IOC will award the 2024 Games to Paris and the 2028 Games to Los Angeles.
- Los Angeles had originally bid for 2024, but because of the new date, it had to make changes to its host contract.
- The evaluation commission signed off on those Monday, saying that although details need to be finalized, it is confident LA can host in 2028.
- Los Angeles received concessions for agreeing to host four years later, including receiving a portion of the IOC's surplus from the Olympics to fund youth sports programs in the city.
- Los Angeles will also receive up to $2 billion from the IOC, which is up to $300 million more than it would have gotten for 2024.
World Congress of Optometry begins in Hyderabad with focus on ‘Quality vision and eye health’.
- Experts from the world over meet at the World Congress of Optometry in Hyderabad to discuss the latest research in optometry. While cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in developing countries, refractive errors are leading to preventable blindness.
- The second World Congress of Optometry began here on Monday to discuss new ideas and share research and knowledge about various facets of Optometry.
- Over 1,200 delegates comprising optometrists, researchers, educators, students and health professionals from around the world were attending the three-day event.
- Deliberations will focus on the future of Optometry, upgrading Optometrists’ skills, as well as developing clinical and professional knowledge and skills.
Awards & Honours
Tahir Mahmood bags N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award
- Eminent jurist Tahir Mahmood today received the prestigious Prof N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award as part of the Law Teachers' Day celebrations organised here.
- Among the institutions, Mar Gregorios College of Law in Thiruvananthapuram bagged this year's SILF-MILAT Institutional Excellence Award.
- The function, organised by the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT), also bestowed the SILF-MILAT South Asian Jurist Award to former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Justice Mohan Peiris, and Prof Tara Prasad Sapkota, the dean of faculty of Law at Tribhuvan University of Nepal.
BAI to confer first Lifetime Achievement award on Prakash Padukone
- Badminton great Prakash Padukone will be conferred with the first Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for his rich contribution to the sport.
- Announcing the award at a press conference here, BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma said the award will carry a citation and a cash award of Rs 10 lakhs.
- He said BAI in its last executive meeting held in Bangalore had decided that every year the federation will honour one important personality who has contributed towards badminton with a life time achievement award.
Indian economist Bina Agarwal wins prestigious Balzan Prize, US scientists among awardees.
- Two US scientists, whose work has contributed to creating immunological treatments for cancer, and an Indian economist are among the winners of this year’s Balzan Prize that recognise scholarly and scientific achievements.
- James Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Robert Schreiber of the Washington University School of Medicine were cited for their work on antibody treatments that has increased the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.
- Indian economist Bina Agarwal, a professor at the University of Manchester, was recognised in the gender studies category for her “heroic” work studying women’s contributions to agriculture in India.
- Belgian astrophysicist Michael Gillon was awarded for his work that has helped map new solar systems from the comfort of planet Earth, using robotic telescopes instead of much more costly satellites.