Current Affairs Update - 15th September 2017
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Height of mountain changed after N Korea nuke test: Reports
- North Korea's sixth nuclear test, which involved a hydrogen bomb, led to the sinking of an 85-acre area on the mountain under which the bomb was believed to be detonated earlier this month, according to new radar satellite images. The test, which was 9.8 times more powerful than North Korea's previous nuclear test, had caused a 6.3-magnitude earthquake.
India defeated Pakistan 3-0 in the teams' first T20I clash
- India and Pakistan played their first-ever T20I against each other on September 14, 2007 in the inaugural World T20 tournament. Following a tie, the match was decided using a bowl-out. Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa hit the stumps successfully to help India win 3-0, as Pakistani players failed to hit even once.
India Launches Ops Insaniyat To Help Bangladesh Face Rohingya Crisis
- With thousands of Rohingya Muslims crossing over to Bangladesh after being displaced from troubled Rakhine province Myanmar, India has launched massive relief operation under the name Ops Insaniyat to help the neighbouring country to face the humanitarian situation.
- “In response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, Government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh. The relief material consists of items required urgently by the affected people, namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc”, the MEA said in an official statement.
- The IAF planes were being pressed into service to deliver the urgent consignment of relief material. It would be delivered in multiple consignments, the first tranche of which will be brought to Chittagong by an IAF aircraft today itself.
- “India has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh, in keeping with the close ties of friendship between the peoples of India and Bangladesh. India stands ready to provide any assistance required by Government of Bangladesh in this hour of need,” said the MEA.
New Appointments: International
UN chief appoints Peter Thomson as first UN envoy for oceans seeking to galvanize efforts to protect the world's seas.
- Peter Thomson played a leading role at the first-ever UN conference on oceans in June. The 193 UN member states issued an urgent call for action to reverse the decline in the health and productivity of the world's oceans.
- UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Thompson's appointment yesterday, saying the former ambassador for Fiji will promote action to implement the conference recommendations.
- Thomson told reporters the major challenge facing the oceans is the change in climate, which affects the seas and the air that all people breathe. In his words, "accumulated human activity is putting us out of balance.
Donald Trump May Appoint Indian-American Manisha Singh To Key Position
- US President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Indian-American Manisha Singh to a key administration position in US State Department that would make her in charge of economic diplomacy.
- Currently Chief Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Dan Sullivan, Ms Singh, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace Charles Rivkin as the assistant secretary of state for economic affairs.
- The position has been lying vacant since January after Mr Rivkin put in his papers following Trump's swearing-in as the 45th President of the United States.
- A resident of the state of Florida, Ms Singh, 45, has earlier served as the deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, and as a senior aide to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
- Her private sector experience includes practicing law at multinational law firms and working in-house at an investment bank.
State Bank of India (SBI) has set up a team of experts to deal with the resolution process of at least 32 defaulters and a few of them have already been referred to insolvency courts, according to three people aware of the matter.
- All these cases have been identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its two lists of around 40 defaulters sent to banks.
- Twelve cases have already been referred to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which handles insolvency matters, following the 13 June directive of RBI. The remaining accounts are part of RBI’s second list, where banks have to come up with a resolution by 13 December.
- If they fail to draw a resolution plan, RBI has mandated banks to take these borrowers to NCLT. SBI has exposure to at least 20 accounts that are part of the second list of defaulter accounts. The move to set up a dedicated team is to ensure quicker decision making, said one of the three people, requesting anonymity.
Bandhan Bank appoints lead managers for its proposed IPO
- Bandhan Bank’s Board has decided to appoint Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase, Axis Bank, JM Financial and Kotak Mahindra Bank as lead managers to manage its proposed initial public offering (IPO).
- Kotak Mahinda Bank will act as the left lead in the issue. The size of the share sale, its timing and all other related aspects, have not been finalized as yet. The final decision on the proposed IPO will be subject to all regulatory approvals, the bank said in a statement.
- According to Bloomberg report, Bandhan Bank could raise at least Rs 5000 crore (USD 780 million) and aims to sell shares in 2018. Investors will be offered about 10 percent stake in Bandhan Bank through the IPO.
HSBC in tie-up with Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India's unbanked segment
- HSBC has entered into an agreement with microfinance industry association Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India's unbanked segment.
- The bank will provide technology expertise to train and educate microfinance consumers at grassroots level and introduce digital banking to promote easier and time-efficient financial transaction among the so-called bottom-of-the-pyramid customer.
- It has been observed that for rural MFI clients, the nearest bank branch is on an average at a distance of about 7 km.
Haryana cabinet meet: All 6,078 gram panchayats to have Wi-Fi zone
- The Haryana council of ministers on Wednesday decided to create one Wi-Fi zone in all 6,078 gram panchayats within two years and provide 4G services in every village in the next three years.
- Under the Haryana Information Technology (IT) and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Policy-2017 approved by the cabinet, the state government has promised broadband connectivity to every household and Wi-Fi zone at important public places in all towns and cities.
Google likely to launch payment app 'Tez' in India
- New Delhi, Joining the digital payment bandwagon in India, Google is reportedly launching a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital payment service called "Tez" as early as next week.
- According to The-Ken.com, on September 18, "Google, Alphabet Inc's subsidiary, will make an entry into India's fast growing and super competitive digital payment ecosystem".
- According to the website, Google is launching "Tez" (meaning fast in Hindi) which is more like Android Pay.
Science & Technologies
Brian Acton leaves Whatsapp to start a non-profit venture
- Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp which was later acquired by Facebook, on Wednesday announced that he was leaving the company to start a non-profit venture of his own.
- "After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life," Acton wrote on Facebook. "I have decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications," he added.
- Acton had co-founded WhatsApp with Jan Koum in 2009 and agreed to sell it to Facebook in 2014 for approximately $19 billion in cash and stock. "I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I'm passionate about," he said.
First global map of water on Moon created
- Scientists have created the first map of water trapped in the uppermost layer of the Moons soil - which may prove useful to future lunar explorers - using data from an instrument aboard Indias Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.
- The study, published in the journal Science Advances, builds on the initial discovery in 2009 of water and a related molecule - hydroxyl, which consists of one atom each of hydrogen and oxygen - in the lunar soil.
- Scientists from Brown University in the US used a new calibration of data taken from NASAs Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, to quantify how much water is present on a global scale.
- "The signature of water is present nearly everywhere on the lunar surface, not limited to the polar regions as previously reported," said Shuai Li, former PhD student at Brown University.
The Sopranos and Goodfellas actor Frank Vincent dies from open heart surgery complications aged 78
- Frank Vincent, 78, died during open heart surgery in New Jersey Wednesday
- Vincent suffered a heart attack last week and passed due to complications in surgery
- His most notable roles included being Tony Soprano's arch nemesis in 'The Sopranos,' as well as the role of Billy Batts in Goodfellas
- Vincent's career found a resurgence when he was re-united alongside Joe Pesci in the 1980 Martin Scorsese film 'Raging Bull'