Current Affairs Updates - 29 & 30 October 2017
Indian Army celebrates 70th Infantry Day
- Army on Friday celebrated 70th Infantry Day at its Northern Command headquarters in garrison town of Udhampur and elsewhere in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The day is observed every year on October 27, as remembrance of year 1947, when army soldiers were airlifted to Srinagar airport to “defend the Kashmir Valley against the invaders of Pakistan, after instrument of accession was signed between India and Jammu and Kashmir," defence spokesperson, Colonel NN Joshi said.
New Appointments: National
N.J.Gangte Appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Zambia
India overtakes the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market-A new report from Canalys
- Move over America, India is now the world’s second largest smartphone market.
- That’s according to a new report from Canalys which claims smartphone shipments in India crossed the 40 million mark for the first time in Q3 2017 courtesy of 23 percent annual growth. That means that India has overtaken the U.S. on sales with only China ahead of it.
- Given the huge gulf in populations — India’s stands at over 1.3 billion while the U.S. is around 320 million — the move had been expected for some time, but recent developments, including demonetization in late 2016, set progress back during recent quarters.
Cabinet approves Rs 7,000 crore for construction of six IIT campuses
- The Union Cabinet has approved over Rs 7,000 crore for construction of permanent campuses of six new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) across the country, an official release said today.
- Each of the permanent campuses to be established at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwad (Karnataka), Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Goa will have a facility for housing 1,200 students from the academic year 2020-2021
36th National Games to held next year from November 4-17 in Goa
- After a lot of delay, Sports Authority of Goa finalised the dates of the 36th National Games, to be held here next year, from November 4 to 17.
- There was uncertainty over the dates of the 30-discipline event ever since the Games were awarded to the State in 2011.
- The delays to the 34th and 35th editions of the Games, which were hosted by Jharkhand and Kerala respectively, affected Goa's plan to hold the mega-event.
- The 36th Games were originally scheduled to be held in November 2016 but the Goa administration requested a postponement at the IOA AGM based on extraneous factors, mainly the state elections.
Asian Development Bank commits $65.5 m to check coastal erosion in Karnataka
- The Asian Development Bank has signed a $65.5 million loan agreement with India for checking coastal erosion on the western coast of Karnataka.
- The loan is the second tranche of a $250-million financing facility under the Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme, ADB said in a statement.
World’s first hydrogen tram begins operation in China
- The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.
- The world’s first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China, marking a big step in the application of green energy in public transport. Researched and manufactured by Chinese, it is the world’s first hybrid electric tram, with hydrogen being the main power source, according to China Railway Rolling Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Co, the maker of the tram.
The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, while the Spanish parliament has approved direct rule over the region.
- A motion declaring independence was approved on Friday with 70 in favour, 10 against, and two abstentions in the 135-seat chamber.
- The measure calls for the transfer of legal powers from Spain to an independent Catalonia.
- But the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, while the US, UK, Germany and France all expressed support for Spanish unity.
Defence & Railway
L&T hands over offshore patrol vessel named “Vikram" to Coast Guard developed in-house by Larsen and Toubro's Kattupalli shipyard
- An offshore patrol vessel (OPV), entirely developed in-house by Larsen and Toubro and the country’s first-ever such defence craft to be built in a private shipyard, was today handed over to the Coast Guard. The vessel named “Vikram”, built at Larsen and Toubro’s Kattupalli shipyard, about 45 km from here, was handed over to the Coast Guard ahead of the March 2018 delivery schedule.
Books & Authors
Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman released a coffee table book on the Department of Defence Production (DDP), titled ‘A journey towards self-reliance’
- The first ever coffee table book on the department, it chronicles the post-independence years of development, indigenisation and production of arms, ammunition and defence equipment, with a view to achieve self-reliance for the Armed Forces of India.
- Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, in her message printed in the book says, “The coffee table book is a noteworthy initiative of DDP to compile success stories of projects of OFB/ DPSUs, transcending from the stage of inception to execution.”
- A similar view is echoed by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre who in his message says, “I am pleased to learn that DDP is bringing out a “Coffee Table Book” highlighting inception of OFB/ DPSUs, production of wide ranging products at various units, indigenization efforts as well as the Corporate Social Responsibilities.”
Application / Portal
The Ministry of External Affairs has launched a new initiative titled "#AsktheSpokesperson” on Twitter with an objective to bring better awareness and understanding of foreign policy issues to general public
- the Ministry uses the social media platforms for inviting questions from public on India’s foreign policy and the selected questions are responded to by the Official Spokesperson live on social media.
- The inaugural session of #AsktheSpokesperson initiative was held at 1700 hrs on October 27, 2017 on the Ministry’s official Twitter handle @MEAIndia. Out of numerous queries received, the Spokesperson responded to selected question, live through periscope.
- This initiative is a part of Ministry’s policy to pro-actively use social media and digital technology to engage constantly with a general public on issues related with the activities of the Ministry. #AsktheSpokesperson initiative will be a regular feature to engage and educate the public about foreign policy matters in simplified terms. It will be held every two months.
Sonowal Launches ‘Assam Darpan’ As Dashboard Of Development Schemes
- To keep the ‘Digital India’ initiative forward, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday launched a web portal ‘Assam Darpan’ that will reflect the government’s performance and achievements for information of the citizens. It has been developed as the Chief Minister’s Dashboard where citizens will be able to see the progress of the flagship schemes of the government.
- Launching the web portal, Sonowal said, “Assam Darpan is an important step taken by the government for open, transparent and accountable governance where details of key programmes and projects are made available to the people”.
India and France to Strengthen Bilateral Defence Cooperation as a Key Pillar of Their Strategic Partnership
- Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman received the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Ms Florence Parly, in South Block today. Minister Parly is visiting India from 26-28 October, 2017 on her first official visit as the French Minister for the Armed Forces.
- The Ministers reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and France. They also discussed regional and international developments of mutual interest.
- A range of measures to expand military to military ties, including enhancing the scope of their joint exercises, in particular the VARUNA naval exercise scheduled in early 2018, were agreed upon. Both countries will also actively explore additional measures to facilitate operational level interactions between their respective armed forces.
Karnataka govt signs MoU with Microsoft for technology
- The Karnataka Government today announced signing of a MoU with Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited with anintention to empower small holder farmers withtechnology-oriented solutions that will help them increaseincome.
- The solutions would use "ground-breaking", cloudbased technologies, machine learning and advancedanalytics.
- The Memorandum o Understanding will experiment with KarnatakaAgricultural Price Commission and Department of Agriculture to help improve price forecasting practices to benefit farmers, a joint release said.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
India, US to implement HOSTAC to strengthen maritime security
- To strengthen maritime security, India and the United States have agreed to implement the programme for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC), the Pentagon has said.
- A decision in this regard was taken by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US Counterpart Jim Mattis during their meeting in Philippines on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus
14th SAARCLAW Conference to commence in Colombo.Theme: "Emerging Legal Trends in SAARC Countries"
- Judges and legal practitioners and academics from South Asia are meeting in Sri Lanka for the 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference being held from October 27 to 29.
- This was stated by Mehmood Mandviwalla, President of SAARCLAW.
- The conference will deal with issues like artificial intelligence, human trafficking, FDIs and environmental protection concerns.
Awards & Honours
Sharmila Tagore honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award
- She still rules the hearts of many as Sapnon Ki Rani and the honour of receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award added another jewel to veteran actor Sharmila Tagores crown.
- The 72-year-old actor was bestowed with the recognition by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here for her contribution in the field of cinema.
- Minister of State for Prime Ministers Office Jitendra Singh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari presented the award to Tagore at a ceremony held last night at Siri Fort Auditorium.
Sports: Awards & Honours
ISSF World Cup Final: Sangram wins silver in double trap
- Sangram Dahiya and Amanpreet Singh won a silver and a bronze each as hosts India enjoyed a fruitful day in the office on day four of competition in the ISSF World Cup Final on Friday.
- Double trap exponent Sangram clinched his first-ever senior medal in International Shooting Sport Federation tournament after years of toil, while Amanpreet bagged a well-deserved bronze after scoring 202.2 in the men's 50m pistol event.
Pro Kabaddi League Final 2017: Patna Pirates thump Gujarat Fortunegiants to clinch third consecutive title
- Raider Pardeep Narwal (19 points) starred for Patna to single-handedly dominate the match and clinch the all-important victory. Defender Jaideep (5 points) too played a vital role.
- For Gujarat, Sachin (11 points) was the top scorer.
- Patna struggled in the early stages before a raid by Pardeep levelled the scores at 15-15.
- Patna did not look back from there taking a 21-18 lead at half-time.
- In the second half, Gujarat raiders Mahendra Rajput and Rohit Gulia picked up back to back successful raids to keep their side within touching distance of Patna.
- But Patna, started taking lead with a bigger margin courtesy of Narwal who clinched successful raid points every time he entered the opposition mat. Monu Goyat too played a key role for the side in the second half.
FIFA U-17 World Cup: England Thrash Spain 5-2 to Clinch
- A historic evening unfolded at the Salt Lake Stadium in the first ever all European final at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup as the 'Young Lions' roared back from two goals down and beat Spain 5-2 to clinch their maiden title at this level.
- England skipper Phil Foden chose the perfect platform to score a brace, while Rhian Brewster, Morgan White-Gibbs and Marc Guehi also got onto the score-sheet to help Steve Cooper's bunch cancel out the early brace of Sergio Gomez.