Current Affairs Updates - 11th October 2017
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Paytm Mall posts 13.63 crore net loss for 2016-17
- Paytm Mall, operated by digital payments startup Paytm, has reported a 13.63 crore net loss and 7.3 crore in revenues between 2016 to 2017, according to legal filings. It had raised 200 million dollar from China’s Alibaba and SAIF Partners, earlier in February. Paytm Mall was launched in August last year by Paytm's parent company, One97 Communications.
Australian eatery to serve Nutella pasta for World Pasta Day on 10th october
- Australian restaurant Carosello is set to introduce 'Nutella pasta' in celebration of World Pasta Day, which is held on October 25. The dessert features Nutella spread, chocolate pasta, Frangelico liqueur, white chocolate, almond flakes, raspberries and mint. Australia already has a Nutella-themed cafe, while another restaurant in the country serves Nutella fettuccine.
New Appointments: National
Jagdish Mukhi takes oath as the new Assam Governor
- Professor Jagdish Mukhi on Tuesday took oath as the new Governor of Assam. He was administered the oath of office by Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh at a function in Guwahati where CM Sarbananda Sonowal and other officials were also present. Mukhi served as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands before being appointed as Assam Governor.
Katrina Kaif is Lenskart's first-ever ambassador
- Eyewear solutions company Lenskart has roped in Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as its brand ambassador.
Indian banks' bad loans hit record 9.5 trillion
- Indian banks' bad loans increased by 4.5% in six months to hit a record 9.5 trillion (145.56 billion dollar) at the end of June. In the previous six months, they had risen 5.8%. Further, stressed loans, as a percentage of total loans, reached 12.6% at end of June, the highest level in at least 15 years, according to the RBI data.
Jio Payments Bank: Reliance and SBI venture to launch in December
- Jio Payments Bank, a 70:30 joint venture between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and SBI, will begin operations in December, according to reports. It had initially planned its launch to coincide with the delivery of its JioPhone in October. Reportedly, the delay is because RBI had asked the bank to demonstrate its capabilities to ensure it's ready for a glitch-free launch.
ICICI Bank aid of 10 crore to armed forces
- ICICI Bank, the country's largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, on Monday committed financial assistance of Rs. 10 crore to the Indian armed forces.
- The contribution, payable in two equal tranches this year and next year, will be utilised towards welfare activities and betterment of the families of ex-servicemen, who lost their lives guarding the nation, the bank said in a statement.
India slips to 8th among most valuable brands while U.S. retains top position and China the second
- India is ranked the eighth most valuable nation brand while the United States retained its top position and China took the second spot in the league of nations according to Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2017.
- India switched places with Canada and its brand value dropped by one percentage point while that of Canada’s rose 14 per cent.
Anti-dumping Duty Imposed on Certain Chinese Steel Products
- The Centre on Monday imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of certain steel wire rods from China for five years, with a view to guard the interest of domestic players from cheap in-bound shipments.
- The duty was imposed after the commerce ministry's directorate general of anti-dumping and allied duties (DGAD) recommended duty on such imports.
Government to bar homeopathic doctors from selling medicines
- According to government rules that are yet to be notified, homeopathic doctors will not be allowed to sell medicines in the premises where they are practising. According to government officials, the objective of the rule is to delink the consultation and selling of medicines, following complaints that commercial interests were influencing behaviour of homeopaths.
90% of rural houses to get piped water by 2022: Prez Kovind
- President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that the government has prepared a strategic plan for covering 90% of rural households with piped water supply by 2022. Observing that 40 billion litres of waste water is produced every day in urban India, he said it is vital to adopt a technology to reduce the toxic content of the waste water.
After Gujarat, Maharashtra cuts VAT on petrol and diesel
- Maharashtra became the second state after Gujarat to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel bringing them down by 2 and 1 per litre respectively from Wednesday. After the new rates come into effect, petrol will cost 75.58 per litre and diesel will cost 59.55 in Mumbai. Earlier today, Gujarat reduced the VAT on fuel by 4%.
Indian women to play ICC C'ship opener vs SA in February
- The Indian women's cricket team will begin their ICC Women's Championship campaign against South Africa in February 2018. The ICC Women's Championship will see participation from eight national teams taking on each other in series of three ODIs on a home or away basis. This is the second edition of the championship, set to culminate in 2020.
Gujarat cuts VAT on fuel by 4%, becomes 1st state to do so
- The Gujarat government today cut the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel by 4%, becoming the first state to do so. After the reduction in VAT, petrol will get cheaper by 2.93 per litre and diesel by 2.72 per litre in the state. This comes after the Centre cut excise duty on fuel by 2/litre, asking states to cut VAT.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar launches 5 battery carts at Gurugram national park
- Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday launched five battery carts for visitors at Gurugram's Sultanpur National Park, which is also known as Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. The battery carts were introduced to manage the crowd to ensure the safety of birds. Notably, more than 30,000 birds from various countries including Russia and China visit the park every year during winter.
Karnataka to provide free LPG connections to BPL families
- Karnataka government will launch 'Anila Bhagya' scheme to provide free LPG connections to families living Below Poverty Line in December. The scheme is aimed at providing clean cooking fuel to reduce health hazards caused by the use of conventional fossil fuel. Under the scheme, the beneficiaries could get a gas stove and two cylinder refills apart from gas connection.
UP govt proposes to build 100m Lord Ram statue in Ayodhya
- The BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to construct a 100-metre tall statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on the banks of river Sarayu. The proposal is a part of 'Navya Ayodhya' project, which is aimed at promoting religious tourism. Other public utilities will also be built in Ayodhya, the money for which has been partly sanctioned by the Centre.
Taj Mahal rightly excluded from UP tourism booklet: Minister
- UP Cabinet Minister LN Chaudhary has said the Taj Mahal was rightly excluded from the tourism booklet released by the state government earlier this month. Claiming the monument does not represent any religion, he said the exclusion was necessary as the UP government runs on "religious policies". He further claimed the monument should be replaced by the Guru Gorakhnath peeth.
PepsiCo India Chairman and CEO D Shivakumar resigns
- PepsiCo India Chairman and CEO D Shivakumar has resigned, almost four years after taking over as head of the cola giant. Shivakumar had joined PepsiCo after having worked at Nokia, prior to which he was with Hindustan Unilever and Philips Consumer Electronics. Shivakumar will now join Aditya Birla Group as its Executive Vice-President (Corporate Strategy and Business Development).
Nobel laureate Malala attends her first lecture at Oxford
- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on Monday attended her first lecture at the Oxford University, five years after she was shot by Taliban for campaigning for girls' education. Malala became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate in 2014 for advocating the right of all children to education. She is pursuing a Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford.
Facebook India Managing Director Umang Bedi steps down
- Managing Director of Facebook India and South Asia Umang Bedi has stepped down from his position, the social media giant announced on Tuesday. Bedi was appointed in 2016 after serving as the Managing Director of the South Asia region at Adobe. Sandeep Bhushan, Facebook's Director of Consumer and Media in South Asia, has been appointed as the interim head.
Waymo launches educational campaign: 'Let's Talk Self-Driving' for self-driving cars
- Google's self-driving car spinoff company Waymo has launched an educational campaign called 'Let's Talk Self-Driving' for fully self-driving cars. The campaign aims to increase understanding of self-driving technology and how it can help address safety challenges on roads. Waymo has collaborated with several digital, outdoor, and radio advertising organisation in Arizona, US for the same.
BCCI's committee suggests 50 cr fund for North-East states
- The Finance Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended setting up a 50-crore fund for infrastructure development for the North-East states. Full-size cricket grounds, budget stadiums, indoor practice facilities and a separate academy for the North-East were the structures discussed as part of the infrastructure development.
ICC set to approve nine-nation Test Championship: Reports
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) will reportedly approve the nine-nation World Test Championship at its meeting in Auckland on Friday. The first edition of the competition would begin in 2019 and run over a two-year cycle, and would end with the final between the top two teams at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London, reports added.
Netherlands gets coalition government after record 208 days
- Four Dutch political parties on Monday agreed to form a coalition government after 208 days of negotiations, the longest time taken in the country's history to form a government. The average time taken to form a ruling coalition in modern Dutch history is 72 days. The negotiations equaled the record 208 days taken to form a government in 1977.
Science & Technologies
Scientists propose shield to protect Earth from solar flares
- US-based scientists have proposed installing a giant magnetic reflector between Earth and the Sun to protect the planet from the harmful effects of solar flares and storms. The shield would create an electric current loop capable of deflecting solar particles. According to researchers, a geomagnetic solar storm similar to 1859's Carrington Event could result in losses of around 10 trillion dollar.
SpaceX successfully launches 14th Falcon 9 rocket in 2017
- Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX on Monday successfully launched its 14th Falcon 9 rocket in 2017 from California. The rocket which carried 10 satellites to orbit for American communications company Iridium, has also returned to its floating drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. The launch marked SpaceX's third mission for Iridium.
Schemes / Programme
Union Home Minister to inaugurate First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in Kathmandu
- The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the four-day First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) here tomorrow. The Exercise will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
Uttarakhand Govt. launches 'Solar Briefcase' to provide electricity in remote areas
- The Uttarakhand Government and a charitable funding agency, Swan Cultural Center and Foundation, on Sunday launched 'Solar Briefcase' in Kedarnath Dham.
- The initiative was taken to provide electricity to far flung areas in the hill state.
VAJRA faculty scheme: 260 applicants for government’s visiting researcher programme
- The Centre’s Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty scheme, meant to attract top international talent to the country’s research and development ecosystem, has received 260 applications from foreign scientists- of whom 70 will be shortlisted this year.
IIT Kharagpur to set up digital academy, signs MoU with Samsung
- IIT-Kharagpur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung India for the setting up of a digital academy on the institute’s campus. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the institute would host the Samsung Innovation Lab and train students on the Internet of Things (IoT) through Tizen-based operating systems, commonly used by the company for its mobile phones and home appliances.
Reliance Commercial Finance inks agreement with IREDA for Rs 300 cr loan
- Reliance Commercial Finance Ltd on Monday said it has signed an agreement with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) for Rs 300 crore loan.
- In a statement, the company said the IREDA loan will be used to lend to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates 5th India Water Week on 10 Oct
- President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the 5th edition of India Water Week with the theme “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth” in New Delhi on 10 October.About 1500 delegates from India and 13 other countries will attend the international event, said the official statement.
IIT Delhi's annual cultural fest Rendezvous to begin on October 13
- Indian Institute of Technology Delhi's annual cultural fest, Rendezvous 2017, will begin on 13th October. The theme for this year's edition is 'A Bohemian Getaway', to celebrate the free-spirited, artistic and unconventional lifestyle. With over 50 diverse events, including debates, dance competitions, quizzing, and a star-studded lineup, college students across India are excited about the fest.
Awards & Honours
Only one Nobel recipient has won the Prize three times: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- Switzerland-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the only 3-time recipient of the Nobel Prize, being conferred with Peace Prize in 1917, 1944, and 1963. Further, the humanitarian institution's co-founder Henry Dunant won the first-ever Peace Prize in 1901. Geneva-based businessman Dunant in 1863 founded the International Committee for the Relief of the Wounded, now-named ICRC.
Only 1 woman American economist Elinor Ostrom has won Nobel in Economic Sciences in 48 years
- American economist Elinor Ostrom is the only woman to have ever been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences since its inception in 1968. Ostrom, who shared the 1.44 million dollar prize with another American economist in 2009, was recognized "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons". She studied how small, local communities manage their shared natural resources.
GCMMF awarded best FMCG in food sector by IAA
- The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which manages brand AMUL, has been awarded as the best FMCG in the food sector at the 5th International Advertising Associations (IAA) Leadership Awards in Mumbai.
T D Radhakrishnan selected for Vayalar award
- Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 8 Noted Novelist T D Radhakrishnan's 'Sugandhi Enna Andal Devanayaki' has been selected for this year's prestigious Vayalar award.
President Ram Nath Kovind presents Vayoshreshtha Samman to senior citizens
- President Ram Nath Kovind today presented the ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ to senior citizens and institutions working for the welfare of the elderly at an event organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The president said that there is a healthy tradition of respecting and taking care of the elders in our country.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Iceland becomes smallest country to ever make the World Cup
- Paraguay had an estimated population of around 850,000 when it was invited to the 1930 World Cup. In 2005, Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest country to ever qualify for the tournament with a population of just over 1.2 million. Iceland has shattered their records.
Jeakson Thounaojam becomes India's first-ever FIFA World Cup scorer
- Sixteen-year-old Jeakson Thounaojam became the first player in history to score for India in a FIFA World Cup on Monday. The U-17 team midfielder headed to convert a corner into a goal in the 82nd minute against Colombia to help India equalise. Thounaojam, who hails from Thoubal, Manipur, is a product of Minerva Punjab FC Academy based in Chandigarh.
Indian pair win gold at World Archery Youth Championship
- Mixed pair of Jemson Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat clinched the recurve team gold medal as India returned with three medals from the World Archery Youth Championship in Rosario.
- This is India’s first world title at the youth championships since Deepika Kumari’s victories in 2009 and 2011. India also bagged one silver and one bronze in a promising show by the youngsters.
Dhayal Sisters Divya Dhayal and Khusbhu Dhayal win bronze in World Championship
- Pune girls Divya Dhayal and Khushbu Dhayal won bronze medal on Saturday in the Youth World Championship in Rosario, Argentina. The three-member Indian team of Khushbu Dhayal, Divya Dhayal and Delhi’s Sanchita Tiwari defeated Russia in the quarterfinals but lost the semifinals to US. However, they defeated the UK in bronze medal match.
Airbnb's Chinese rival raises 300 mn dollar at 1.5 bn dollar valuation
- Airbnb's Chinese rival Tujia on Tuesday announced it has raised 300 million dollar in a funding round led by Chinese travel agent Ctrip, and All-Stars Investment. The funding round which valued the short-term property rental startup at over 1.5 billion dollar, also saw participation from G Street Capital. Founded in 2011, Tujia has over 6,50,000 online listings globally.
AI solutions provider ParallelDots raises 1.4 dollar million
- Gurugram-based artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning solutions provider ParallelDots has raised 1.4 million dollar in an additional funding round from US-based investment firm Multipoint Capital. Last year, Multipoint Capital invested 600,000 dollar in the startup in a seed round. Founded in 2014, the startup provides AI consulting services to developers, startups, and enterprises.
Veeba Food Services raises 40 crore in funding
- Condiments and sauce maker Veeba Food Services has reportedly raised over 6 million dollar (40 crore) in funding led by existing investor Verlinvest, a Belgium-based investment holding company. Verlinvest manages 1.8 billion euro dollar(over 13,800 crore) in assets across the globe. In October 2016, Veeba Food had raised 6 million dollar in a Series B round of fundraising from Saama Capital and Verlinvest.
Infosys fixes Nov 1 as record date for 13,000-crore buyback
- India's second largest IT services firm Infosys said it has fixed November 1 as the record date for its up to 13,000 crore share buyback programme. The share buyback will be the first in company's 36-year long history. It added that the buyback proposal had been approved by the board on August 19 and by the shareholders on October 9.