Current Affairs-8th October 2017
Do You Know?
SEBI has one employee for every six listed companies
- Markets regulator SEBI has on average one employee for every six listed firms, according to a report. Its counterpart US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has almost one employee per listed firm. "Staff strength at SEBI needs to be increased to strengthen its monitoring and enforcement functions," a panel on corporate governance, headed by India's richest banker Uday Kotak, recommended.
Researchers to revisit Harappan technology for modern use
- A group of researchers from across India will relook at the science, technology and innovations that happened in ancient India during the Harappan civilisation, for use in modern times. The researchers claim the Harappans had perfected most of the technologies of their time such as stone-beading, crafts production, Indus ceramic technologies, metal and metallurgy, which are still being used.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said CBSE Class 10 board exams to be reintroduced
- Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said that the CBSE Class 10 board examination will be reintroduced as part of the ongoing reforms in the education system. The exam was made optional by the UPA government from academic session 2010-2011. Further, Class 5 and 8 students who would fail in the end-term examinations would be detained in these classes.
New Appointments: National
Axis Bank appoints Sangram Singh as FreeCharge CEO
- Private lender Axis Bank on Friday said it has completed the acquisition of mobile wallet firm FreeCharge and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO. The bank has completed the acquisition of FreeCharge for a cash consideration of 373.27 crore, on a cash free, debt free basis. FreeCharge presently has a revenue of about 80 crore.
GST Council raises threshold for Composition Scheme to 1 cr from 75 lakh
- The GST Council on Friday raised the threshold limit for Composition Scheme to 1 crore from the current 75 lakh to ease tax filing for small traders. The scheme allows small businesses, including eateries, to pay 1-5% tax without going through tedious formalities. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that e-wallet for exporters will also start from April 1, 2018.
SBI's first woman Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya retires
- SBI's first woman Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya retired on Friday, over 40 years after joining the country's largest lender as a probationary officer. She said, "I've seen the bank from a long distance, from the days of huge ledgers to now when everything is on cloud." "I'm happy that I've future-proofed the bank," she added.
India's 5.7% GDP growth not a slowdown: European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker
- The European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker has said nobody outside India calls its 5.7% GDP growth as a slowdown. He added, "5.7% (GDP) by comparison to 2% in Europe is showing that India is doing well." The comment comes after the country saw its economic growth rate slowing down to a three-year low in the June quarter.
Government reduces GST rates on 27 products and services
- The government on Friday reduced GST rates on 27 products and services and introduced a 0.1% GST rate for merchant exporters, offering relief from the full-applicable GST rates on their procurements. GST on products like sliced dried mangos, khakhra, plain chapattis is reduced to 5% from 12%, and services like zari work are down from 12% to 5%.
Govt plans to reduce public-sector banks from 21 to 10-15 by merging some banks.
- The Centre is planning to bring down the number of public-sector banks from 21 to 10-15 in the country by merging some of the banks. The government revealed it would take care of bad loan problems before merging the banks. It also asserted a weak bank won't be merged with a strong one "as it could pull the latter down".
IFC invests 76 mn Dollar in Fullerton India's masala bond
- World Bank Group member IFC today said it has invested USD 76 million (Rs 500 crore) in 5-year unrated masala bond issuances of Fullerton India Credit Company.
- The investment will further strengthen Fullerton India's reach in the underserved retail and micro, small, and medium enterprise segment, especially in developing states, International Finance Corporation (IFC) said in a statement.
Zaheer is India's highest-ever wicket-taker in World Cups with 44 wickets over 23 matches
- Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Saturday, is India's highest wicket-taker in ICC World Cups, with a tally of 44 wickets to his name over the course of 23 matches. In his nearly 14-year-long career, Zaheer played 92 Tests and 200 ODIs, picking up 311 and 282 wickets in them respectively.
Magicbricks Launches India's First Online Property Bidding Platform
- Magicbricks today announced the launch of India's first online bidding platform for residential and commercial properties and tied-up with developer M3M for the inaugural 'My Bid, My Home' under which consumers can bid for ready-to-move-in residential properties ranging from 1355sqft-7875sqft in Gurugram on Oct 7. Magicbricks has been recently awarded the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, making it the country's only real estate portal eligible for a bidding platform for properties.
Tamil Nadu govt hikes theatre ticket prices by 25%
- The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday issued orders to hike theatre prices by 25%, with the maximum ticket price being 160 and the minimum price being 50. This comes after Tamil Film Producers Council and exhibitors decided to not release movies from October 6 to protest the implementation of 10% local body tax in addition to the existing GST.
PM Modi lays foundation for international airport at Rajkot
- During his two-day visit to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone for a greenfield international airport, which is expected to cost 2,500 crore, at Rajkot. Adding that aviation cannot be about rich people, PM Modi claimed that it was now made affordable and within the reach of the less-privileged.
Bengaluru Metro gets 2,300 cr from European Investment Bank
- Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II has received 2,300 crore from European Investment Bank, according to Finance Ministry. The project will be jointly financed by European Investment Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which will give over 3,800 crore and 2,300 crore respectively. The project is expected to be completed within five years from the date of commencement of work.
India to get its first marine police training institute at Gujarat's Devbhumi Dwarka district
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the setting up of India's first marine police training institute at Gujarat's Devbhumi Dwarka district. Stating that the government is working towards the modernisation of marine police force, PM Narendra Modi said the police will be trained to provide security within a five-kilometre boundary along the coastline.
PM Modi to inaugurate projects worth 5,925 crore in Gujarat
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate development projects worth 5,925 crore during his two-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat. He will lay the foundation stone for a greenfield airport located near Rajkot and inaugurate a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant in Surendranagar. He will also lay the foundation stone for widening of Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 to six lanes.
FSSAI asks states to appoint 'food safety supervisors'
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the national food regulator, on Friday asked all the states and Union Territories to appoint trained 'food safety supervisors' for all food businesses with 25 or more people handling food. These supervisors would be responsible for ensuring that food quality is maintained, however, legally the owners would be responsible for lapses.
US approves sale of 98,000 crore THAAD missiles to Saudi
- The US State Department has approved a sale of the THAAD missile defence system worth over 98,000 crore (15 billion dollar) to Saudi Arabia. The deal includes 44 THAAD launchers and 360 missiles along with fire control stations and radars. The US had earlier set up the THAAD in South Korea, sparking protests from North Korea and China.
Adobe invests in Aadhaar-based authentication for its 'e-sign' solution
- In a bid to facilitate better adoption of e-signatures in the country, Adobe on Wednesday announced investment on integration of Aadhaar-based authentication in its e-signature solution "Adobe Sign".
Science & Technologies
Smart bandage which releases medication on command made
- Engineers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard and MIT have developed a smart bandage which releases medication on command. The bandage is made of fibers with a core electrical heater covered with drug carriers. It also has a stamp-sized microcontroller attached to it which releases the medication by connecting to an app or sensors woven into the bandage.
Scientists develop 'body-on-a-chip' for faster drug testing
- US-based researchers have developed a system that combines several 3D-printed micro-organs mimicking the heart, lungs, and liver on a single platform. The "body-on-a-chip" system enables testing effects and side-effects of a drug on all organs in a single test. It could help reduce the 90% failure rate that pharmaceutical companies face when developing new medications, said researchers.
Moon once had an atmosphere: NASA study
- A NASA study has found the Moon had an atmosphere around 3-4 billion years ago, when volcanic eruptions spewed gases faster than they could escape to space. Apollo mission samples' analyses indicated ancient moon's magma carried carbon monoxide, water, and sulphur. During that time, the Moon was three times closer to Earth, likely appearing three times larger in the sky.
Vibrant India-South Africa relation reaches 20 years in the field of Science & Technology
- The two nations India and South Africa share a multi-dynamic bilateral relation which has now reached a new level after completing 20 years of Science and Technology Cooperation. An event is being held in Durban to celebrate this vibrant bond and top officials from both the countries are attending it. Science and technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan is leading the Indian delegation to South Africa.
Schemes / Programme
Gandhinagar: PM Modi to address Digital Saksharata Abhinandan Samaroh on Oct 7 at IIT-Gandhinagar
- Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi will participate in the Digital Saksharta Abhinandan programme at IIT-Gandhinagar campus on Saturday.
- PMGDISHA envisages to provide equal opportunity to rural citizens enabling them to actively participate in nation building process and access livelihood through digital technology, devices and services.
Vijaya Bank inks MoU with HPCL for digital payments with BHIM/ UPI
- Vijaya Bank has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for enabling all HPCL retail outlets with BHIM/UPI merchant solutions.
- Following the success of the pilot launch at five outlets, the solution is being scaled to enable UPI acceptance in all HPCL outlets throughout Karnataka over the next few weeks.
Meghalaya, UP And Arunachal Sign MoU To Boost Culture And Tourism
- An official statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government said that Education Secretary WR Lyngdoh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of the state government along with representatives from Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh in an attempt to boost cultural ties.
- Under the ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme the states will connect with each other to know more about the culture, heritage and traditions of each other.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
UK exhibition to focus on art of Amritsar, Lahore
- Over 80 objects, including the golden throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, will go on display in an exhibition focusing on the art of Amritsar and Lahore in Coventry, UK. The museum said the Crafts of the Punjab exhibition will feature objects from the 2nd to the 19th century, and will include Buddhist, Hindu and Jain sculptures.
5th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav being organized in Ne Region
- The Fifth ‘RashtriyaSanskritiMahotsav (RSM) – 2017’ is being organized in North Eastern Region of India by Ministry of Culture from 23rd to 31st March, 2017. The festival will be inaugurated at Parade Ground, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on 23rd March, 2017 and extend to other North Eastern states including, Dimapur (Nagaland) from 26th to 28th March, Majuli (Assam) from 27th to 29th March, Imphal (Manipur) from 27th to 29th March, Aizawl (Mizoram) from 28th to 30th March, Gangtok (Sikkim) from 28th to 30th March, Shillong (Meghalaya) from 29th to 31st March and Khowai (Tripura) from 29th to 31st March.
First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held
- The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held. Shri TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Mr. Stephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General's Department led the respective delegations.
India, EU hold 14th summit talks to boost overall ties
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the top leadership of the European Union today deliberated on a range of key issues to boost overall ties between India and the 28-nation bloc.
- The two sides reviewed a full spectrum of their ties at the 14th summit with a focus on ramping up two-way trade and investment.
Awards & Honours
Rajan in list of 6 possible winners for Economics Nobel
- Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has featured in this year's list of six possible winners for the Nobel Prize in Economics, brought out by Clarivate Analytics. The firm, which publishes a list of possible Nobel winners based on research citations, has correctly predicted 15 winners in the last 45 years. Rajan is presently a professor at the University of Chicago.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Indian bowlers equal record for most bowled wickets in a T20I
- Indian bowlers equalled the record for getting the most number of batsmen out bowled in a T20I, registering six such dismissals during the rain-curtailed first T20I against Australia at Ranchi on Saturday. Out of the six bowled dismissals, Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah effected two each. Four other bowling sides have managed to achieve the feat in T20Is.
London's American Bar named World's Best Bar of 2017: Theme-Coast to Coast
- The American Bar in London has been named the World's Best Bar of 2017 by a panel of 500 members. Interestingly, the American Bar has a landmark-themed 'Coast to Coast' menu that explores the UK through drinks. Dandelyan in London and The NoMad in New York were placed second and third on the list respectively.
'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro' director Kundan Shah passes away at 69
- Filmmaker Kundan Shah, who directed films like 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro' and 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa' passed away at the age of 69 following a heart attack. Shah won the National Award in 1984 for Best First Film of a Director for 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro'. His last film as a director was the 2015 movie 'P Se PM Tak'.
Former Union Minister Purushottam Lal Kaushik Passes Away
- Former Union minister and socialist leader Purushottam Lal Kaushik on Thursday died due to age-related ailments at his home in Chhattisgarh Mahasamund district. He was 87.
- Kaushik breathed his last at his residence in Mahasamund town this afternoon due to age-related ailments, his family members said.
Zee Entertainment acquires 9X Media, INX Music for 160 cr
- Media conglomerate Zee Entertainment has acquired 100% stake in two media entities, 9X Media and INX Music, in a 160-crore cash deal. The company has also bought remaining 26% stake in Zee Turner for 2.6 lakh, a 74% subsidiary of the company. 9X Media's Bollywood news portal SpotboyE will also be part of this transaction.
Flipkart launches private label for large appliances MarQ
- Flipkart has launched MarQ, its private label for large appliances. MarQ will be the company's fifth in-house brand, following a range of its own labels in fashion and furniture introduced over the past several months.
Modi temple with 100-foot tall statue of PM to be built in Meerut
- A grand temple worth Rs. 30 crore is going to be built in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.
- The temple would be built in the Sardhana area of Meerut where a 100-foot statue of Prime Minister Modi would be installed.
- The 'Bhumi Pujan' and the stone laying ceremony for the same would take place on October 23.