Current Affairs Update - 9th September 2017
New Appointments: National
Sjoerd Marijne named chief coach of Indian men’s hockey team
- In a seemingly pre-decided move, Indian women’s hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne has been appointed as the chief coach of the men’s outfit, replacing the sacked Roelant Oltmans.
- Meanwhile, Harendra Singh, who led India to gold at the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow 2016, has been named the chief coach of the women’s team, replacing Marijne.
- The announcement came on Friday afternoon when newly appointed sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted the same.
- “Pleased to announce appt of Sh Harendra Singh, Dronacharya Award winner,as High Performance Specialist Coach fr Indian Snr Women Hockey Team,” Rathore tweeted.
‘Pakistan’s Habib Bank to pay $225-mn New York fine for compliance failures’
- The New York State Department of Financial Services on Thursday said Pakistan’s Habib Bank had agreed to pay $225 million to settle an enforcement action brought against it for infringing laws designed to combat illicit money transfers.
- The DFS said in a legal filing last month it was seeking to fine the bank, Pakistan's biggest lender, up to $630 million for “grave” compliance failures over anti-money laundering and sanctions rules at its only U.S. branch.
- The regulator said the bank, known as HBL, agreed to pay just over a third of that sum as part of a broader settlement in which it will shutter its New York branch, subject to conditions.
Airtel arm launches ‘GST Advantage’ for SMEs
- Airtel Business, the B2B arm of telecom major Bharti Airtel, has launched Airtel GST Advantage — a solution designed to enable small businesses and start-ups to file their GST returns “accurately, securely and seamlessly.”
- Launched in partnership with ClearTax, Airtel GST Advantage is being offered free to all existing Airtel Business customers.
India's first US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) to introduce the futuristic "Hyperloop" transportation system in the state capital region, Amrawati and Vijayawada.
- Having junked the proposed metro project from Vijaywada, the Andhra Pradesh government joined hands with US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) to introduce the futuristic "Hyperloop" transportation system in the state capital region, Amrawati.
Amazon launches largest India fulfilment centre at Hyderabad
- The city's growing stature as a logistics hub, especially for e-commerce players, got another mammoth boost with US-based e-commerce giant Amazon unveiling its largest fulfilment centre (FC) in the country at GMR Hyderabad Airport City at Shamshabad on Thursday .
- The FC, which is spread over 4,00,000 sft, is Amazon's fifth warehouse in Telangana and has a storage capacity of 2.1 million cubic feet. The FC ramps up Amazon's total storage capacity in Telangana to 3.2 million cubic feet.
- Also, Amazon, which entered India in June 2013, now has 41 FCs across 13 states with a total storage capacity of 13 million cubic feet.
Nestle sets up first food safety institute in India at Manesar
- More than two years since the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned Nestle India Ltd’s Maggi instant noodles over health and safety worries, the new FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal on Wednesday inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute that will provide guidance and training on food safety.
- “This partnership is very well thought strategy. Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes, on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards. Partnerships with private parties on food safety and standards are an imperative for FSSAI. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India,” said Agarwal.
- The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar, where Nestle has its research and development centre, for the past seven months.
Government plans Wi-Fi for all panchayats by March 2019 for Rs 3,700 crore
- The government is giving shape to an ambitious Rs 3,700-crore plan in an attempt to cover nearly 5.5 lakh villages with Wi-Fi facility by March 2019, a top Department of Telecom official said.
- "In September, we expect to put out tender for 2.5 lakh GPs (gram panchayats) to be covered with Wi-Fi by March 2019. This is a big goal. This will mean that if we are able to put out Wi-Fi access in literally every GP, 5.5 lakh villages will actually have access to mobile broadband," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told PTI in an interview.
- The project cost is estimated to be around Rs 3,700 crore. The government expects to start broadband services with about 1,000 megabit per second (1 gbps) across 1 lakh gram panchayats by the end of this year.
Nagaland to implement Direct Benefit Transfer under MGNREGA from this year
- To ensure transparency and check corruption, the Nagaland government will start implementing the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under MGNREGA beginning from the current financial year.
- According to Secretary of Rural Development Kelei Zeliang, wages of the MGNREGA workers will be directly credited to the individual accounts of the job-card holders through National Electronic Fund Management System or Public Financial Management System.
- Stating that every job-card holder must have a bank account duly linked with Aadhaar to avail the benefits, Zeliang said that in the new system, no payment will be made in cash.
- Presently, 46,894 active MGNREGA workers have opened their bank accounts linked with Aadhar and are ready for DBT. A total of 1.79 lakh MGNREGA workers have been verified with Aadhar and being processed for opening bank account.
- Currently, there are 4.25 lakh active job cards with 5.82 lakh active MGNREGA workers in the state.
Science & Technologies
SpaceX launches Air Force's super-secret shuttle. It's the fifth flight for one of these crewless minishuttles, known as the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.
- SpaceX launched the Air Force's super-secret space shuttle on Thursday, a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit.
- The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, as schools and businesses boarded up for Hurricane Irma.
- It's the fifth flight for one of these crewless minishuttles, known as the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.
- The two Air Force space planes have already logged a combined 5 ½ years in orbit. But officials won't say what the spacecraft are doing up there. The last mission lasted almost two years and ended with a May touchdown at the runway formerly used by NASA's space shuttles. The first one launched in 2010.
Defence & Railway
SLINEX 2017: India Srilanka Joint Millitary Exercise to began from Sept. 7 in Bay of Bengal.
- Sri Lanka Navy Ships ‘Sayura’ and ‘Sagara’ entered the Visakhapatnam harbour to participate in the fifth edition of ‘SLINEX-2017’, a bilateral exercise between India and Sri Lanka, that got under way on Thursday and would go on up to September 14. The exercise is being conducted in two phases. The harbour phase will be organised from September 7 to 10 and the sea phase from September 11 to 14, in the Bay of Bengal.
Assam govt signs MoU with Google to increase digital literacy
- In a bid to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the state, Assam government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google India.
- "In the 21st century, technology rules the roost and to carry forward the fruits of development to even the remotest part, the state government has upped the ante to use technology increasingly," Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said in a statement. He said that through the MoU with Google, the state government would work to provide Internet connection to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas to increase digital literacy.
Sports: Awards & Honours
India’s Sonam Malik wins Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship
- Indian grappler Sonam Malik clinched the gold medal at Cadet World Wrestling Championship in Athens on Thursday. She achieved this feat on the fourth day of the championship when she defeated her opponent, Sena Nagamoto by a margin of 3-1 (56kg category). However, there was more good news for India as another Indian athlete Neelam (43kg category) also bagged the bronze medal.
- More gold is in store for India as grappler Anshu is set to square-off against Naomi Ruike (Japan) in the 60-kilogram weight category.