Current Affairs Update - 18th September 2017
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Narendra Modi celebrates 67th birthday
- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, turned 67 on Sunday and the country will be celebrating the day as Seva Diwas. While the PM began his day by seeking his mother’s blessings, wishes started pouring on social media wishing one of the most Dynamic, Dedicated & Decisive Leader. Indian cricketer Suresh Raina was among the many well wishers who took to social media and wished the honourable PM.
India likely to be 3rd largest economy by 2028: HSBC report
- India is likely to overtake Japan and Germany to become the third largest economy in the next 10 years but needs to be consistent in reforms and focus more on the social sector, British brokerage HSBC has said.
- Social capital is "insufficient" in the country and spending on aspects like health and education "is not just desirable for its (India's) own sake, but is also central to economic growth and political stability", it said.
Airtel Payments Bank launches UPI enabled digital payments. AirtelBSE -0.64 % Payments Bank has become the first payments bank in India to integrate the UPI on its digital platform
- Sunil Mittal-driven Airtel Payments Bank Sunday integrated the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its digital platform, allowing customer choice and convenience to facilitate secure digital payments.
- AirtelBSE -0.64 % Payments Bank has become the first payments bank in India to integrate the UPI on its digital platform, the company said in a statement, adding that it would secure digital payments to online/offline merchants and instant money transfers to any bank account in India. In January, Bharti Airtel launched Payments Bank in India to enable transactions on digital platforms.
Rashid Khan becomes youngest cricketer to claim 100 T20 wickets
- Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan became the youngest cricketer to take 100 T20 wickets when he achieved the feat during the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL) on Friday.
- The youngster, who is just five days away from his 19th birthday, took 3/22 for Bamd-e-Amir Dragons during their SCL 2017 game against Boost Defenders to reach the landmark. Rashid was the wrecker-in-chief for his side and thanks to his heroics, Bamd-e-Amir Dragons won the match by 6 runs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada. The foundation stone of Sardar Sarovar dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada, described as Gujarat's lifeline by BJP leaders, at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday. The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction.
- The delay in the completion of the dam was due to numerous reasons. Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan took the government to the Supreme Court over environmental and rehabilitation issues, and obtained a stay in 1996. The court allowed resumption of work in October 2000. The height of the dam was recently raised to 138.68 metres, which will allow maximum 'usable storage' of 4.73 million acre feet of water.
Science & Technologies
NASA's 3.9 billion dollar Cassini spacecraft today ended its 20-year-long groundbreaking journey with a fiery plunge into the Saturn's crushing atmosphere, beaming back never-before-seen images of the ringed planet and its mysterious moons until the last moment.
- NASA’s 3.9 billion dollar Cassini spacecraft today ended its 20-year-long groundbreaking journey with a fiery plunge into the Saturn’s crushing atmosphere, beaming back never-before-seen images of the ringed planet and its mysterious moons until the last moment.
- Operators deliberately made Cassini, the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, dive into the gas giant to ensure that the planet’s moons – in particular Enceladus, with its subsurface ocean and signs of hydrothermal activity – remain pristine for future exploration. “Our spacecraft has entered Saturn’s atmosphere, and we have received its final transmission,” NASA said in a tweet. “Every time we see Saturn in the night sky, we’ll remember. We’ll smile. And we’ll want to go back,” the US space agency said.
Defence & Railway
US and UAE to conduct joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi. The exercise - code-named Iron Union 5.
- The US and UAE's ground forces will begin a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as part of efforts to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise.
- Code-named Iron Union 5, the drill is an extension of a series of Iron Claw exercises, which the UAE organises with friendly countries to exchange and develop their skills according to the latest advanced military systems.
India, US armies begin Yudh Abhyas 2017 military exercise
- The armies of India and the US today commenced a joint military exercise at a base in Washington state to hone tactical skills in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations, a statement from the military said. ‘Yudh Abhyas 2017’, a joint military exercise, saw representation from 5th Infantry Battalion of 20 Infantry Regiment of the US Army while the Indian side was represented by soldiers of Gorkha Rifles from the Surya Command.
Railways cuts down sleeping hours for passengers by an hour to 10 pm and 6 am from 9 pm and 6 am.
- The Railways is trying to put an end to those tiresome quarrels that break out due to oversleeping passengers on the middle and lower berths by reducing official sleeping hours.
- According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the time.
- Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am.
An indigenous artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the private sector has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.
- “During trial firings at Pokhran ranges last week, ATAGS registered the longest ever distance of 48.074 kms, surpassing the maximum ranges of 35-40 kms fired by any artillery gun system in this category,” an industry source told The Hindu.
Awards & Honours
An Indian startup has won a prestigious award and a cash prize of USD 42,000 in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers a steady and dependable income.
- Kheyti, a Hyderabad-based startup, was chosen among the ten finalists in the prestigious MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies in 40 different countries.
- The top ten finalists also included another Indian start-up ‘Sukriti’ which developed a smart toilet cabin employing hygiene maintenance systems to enhance user experience in sanitation.
Sports: Awards & Honours
PV Sindhu wins Korea Open Super Series title in the final of the world championship in Glasgow.
- PV Sindhu won the Korea Open Super Series title with a 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 win over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. With the win, Sindhu exacted revenge for last month's defeat to the same opponent in the final of the world championship in Glasgow.
- The first game was a tightly-contested affair, with neither player really asserting herself on the match. Okuhara had two game points at 20-10, but Sindhu reeled off four points in a row to take the set.
Indian Air Force Marshal, 1965 War Hero Arjan Singh Dies at 98
- War hero Marshal Arjan Singh, who led the Indian Air Force (IAF) during the 1965 India-Pakistan conflict, died Saturday at the Army Research and Referral hospital in New Delhi. He had been hospitalised this morning in critical condition after he suffered a cardiac arrest, the defence ministry said.
- Ninety-eight-year-old Singh was the only officer of the IAF to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a Field Marshal in the Army.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned Singh’s death and said India will never forget his leadership in the 1965 India-Pakistan war, when the IAF saw substantial action. “India mourns the unfortunate demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. We remember his outstanding service to the nation,” he tweeted. President Ram Nath Kovind condoled his demise as well.
Nepal survey to remeasure Mount Everest begins
- Nepal has begun remeasuring Mount Everest to check if the height of the world’s tallest peak was altered by a powerful earthquake that struck the nation in 2015, the government said today.
- The official height of Mount Everest —— which lies in the Himalayan range, straddling the border between Nepal and China —— is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), first recorded by an Indian survey in 1954.
- Numerous other teams have measured the peak, although the 1954 height remains the widely accepted figure.
- “Nepal has never measured Everest on its own although the world’s highest peak lies in its territory. So we want to prove to our people that Nepal is capable of measuring Everest,” Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, head of the government’s survey department, told AFP.