Current Affairs Updates- 2nd & 3rd October 2017
Do You Know?
Herath becomes 1st left-arm spinner to take 400 Test wickets
- Sri Lankan veteran spinner Rangana Herath became the first left-arm spinner to take 400 wickets in Test cricket after claiming the match-winning wicket of Pakistan's Mohammad Abbas in the first Test on Monday. Herath also became the first bowler to take 100 Test wickets against Pakistan, overtaking former India all-rounder Kapil Dev, who had taken 99 wickets against Pakistan.
Gandhiji only Indian to be named TIME's Person of the Year
- Mahatma Gandhi was named TIME Magazine's Person of the Year in 1930 and remains the only Indian to be honoured with the title. Describing him as 'Saint Gandhi', the magazine wrote that Gandhi's "1930 mark on world history will undoubtedly loom largest of all." The magazine later also included him in the list of 25 Political Icons.
RCom-Aircel merger collapses, doubts on debt repayment rise
- Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) has called off the merger of its wireless services business with Aircel Ltd, citing regulatory delays and opposition from some creditors, in a development that will further impede its efforts to pare its huge debt.
- RCom said it is now looking at alternative ways to reduce its debt, including sale of real estate assets and “optimization of spectrum”, the company said in a filing to stock exchanges on Sunday.
UN observes Gandhi Jayanti as International Day of Non-Violence on 2nd October
- The UN today observed the 148th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as the International Non-Violence Day with Indian-Americans remembering the apostle of peace across the US.
International Day of Older Persons to be observed every year on 1st October. The theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2017 is “Stepping into the Future:Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”
- This year’s day is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.
- This year’s theme underscores the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which is currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process.
New Appointments: International
Sikh lawyer and martial artist Jagmeet Singh elected Canada's new NDP leader
- The members of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada have elected Jagmeet Singh as their new leader, making him the first visible minority to be elected leader of a major Canadian federal party.
- Earlier today, 38-year-old Singh won the position in the first ballot with 35,266 ballots of the 65,782 ballots cast or 53.6% of the total vote. He defeated Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron.
Govt keeps interest rate unchanged on small savings schemes for Q3
- Ahead of monetary policy review, the government on Friday kept unchanged the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter.
SBI waives closing fees for accounts that are over 1 yr old
- SBI has waived off account closing charges for all savings bank customers under the condition that their account has existed for over a year. The waiver came into effect on October 1. Earlier, the bank was deducting 500 along with applicable GST as account closing charges on all accounts except for those closed during the 14-day free-look period.
UAE begins collecting ‘sin’ taxes on tobacco, energy drinks
- The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new “sin” taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks.
- Beginning Sunday, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 per cent and soft drinks at 50 per cent. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the day before.
- The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices. The UAE will start collecting a 5-per cent value-added tax on certain goods in January.
India jumps to 14th rank as best country for expats: HSBC
- India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in, says a HSBC survey.
- The list, which is topped by Singapore, is part of HSBC's latest 'expat explorer survey' that covered 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories in March and April this year
Meenakshi Temple named cleanest iconic place in India
- The Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu's Madurai has been named the cleanest iconic place in India under the 'Swachhata Hi Seva' programme. It was shortlisted along with ten other iconic places, including Taj Mahal, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, and Golden Temple. As many as 60 people were employed to keep the temple clean and 300 others volunteered during monthly cleanliness drives.
Rohit Sharma jumps to world no. 5 in ODI batsmen rankings
- Indian opener Rohit Sharma jumped to world number five in the ODI batsmen rankings with a career-best rating of 790, after scoring 296 runs in the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia. Meanwhile, Indian captain Virat Kohli remained the top-ranked ODI batsman, ahead of Australia's David Warner and South Africa's AB de Villiers who complete the top three.
Aeris Communications partners BSNL for IOT solutions
- New Delhi, Aeris Communications on Friday entered into a partnership with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to provide packaged Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services to small, medium businesses and public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India.
- The company will leverage BSNL's wide network coverage, to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end IoT services platform for enterprises, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers.
New wetland conservation rules notified
- The Centre on September 26 notified a new set of rules under the head Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 replacing the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010.
- One of the outstanding rules of the notification is that encroachments on wetlands stand banned. The rules prohibit solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages, and other human settlements into wetlands.
VNL signs pact with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management
- Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL has signed a memorandum of understanding with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management.
- The 'Relief 123' service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected and integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief.
- The service is an integrated disaster response solution for first responders and public safety agencies. The solution is designed and manufactured by VNL and the backhaul connectivity will be provided by BSNL, th le companies said.
NHAI to organize free eye checkup camps for truck drivers
- In a bid to ensure safe and secure driving on the country's national highways, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to organize a five-day free eye-check-up camp for truck drivers at Tilhar in Shahjahanpur district, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2. These eye check-up camps will be set up at three different toll plazas in the district.
Bihar govt launches drive against child marriage & dowry
- Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led the pledge at Patna and all the government school’s, health centres, panchayats, mahadalit tola, local police stations and government and non government offices followed .
- People pledged not to get married a girl below 18 years or a boy below 21 or participate in a child marriage or a wedding with dowry.
Maharashtra declared open-defecation free state.
- Hours before President Ram Nath Kovind declared urban Maharashtra open defecation free (ODF) at an event in Worli on Sunday, HT photographers found evidence to the contrary at Mankhurd, Shanti Nagar in Wadala, the Mahim railway track, Antop Hill, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mahim Causeway, and Somaiya Ground in Sion.
- HT photographers visited these spots between 6.43 am and 8.20 am and found that it was business as usual. Scores of men could be seen defecating in the open, some carried cans of water.
- Earlier too such claims had been exposed. Then the BMC had claimed that the areas under its jurisdiction were free of open defecation and that it happened only on Railway and central government land.
India, Norway discuss strengthening bilateral ties in fishery
- Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday met his Norwegian counterpart Jon Georg Dale and discussed further strengthening bilateral ties in fishery sector and cooperation in developing climate smart fishing techniques as also trade in marine products.
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Female assistant referees to be seen for first time
- Seven female assistant referees have been chosen by FIFA from across the world (seven from each continent) and they will coordinate with around 70 male referees during the 52 matches taking place in October across six venues.
Science & Technologies
Technology to turn any object into a TV remote developed
- Researchers from Lancaster University have developed 'Matchpoint' technology to turn objects into remote controls for televisions. The technology requires a webcam and works by displaying a circular widget with menu items on the television screen. It identifies rotating movement of objects like a teacup or toy car which can be used to change channels or regulate the volume.
Startup launches its first space balloon in US
- US-based stratospheric flight startup World View on Saturday launched its first space balloon from its headquarters in the US. The balloons, called Stratollites are high-altitude crafts that can operate at the upper edge of Earth's atmosphere for scientific and observational purposes. The startup claims Stratollite flight platform costs a fraction of the cost of existing technology.
Defence & Railway
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visits forward base in Siachen, inaugurates bridge in Leh
- Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, visited forward areas in Leh and Ladakh, including the Siachen base camp on Saturday. The defence minister was received by Lt Gen S K Upadhyay, General Officer Commanding of Fire and Fury Corps. She paid tribute to fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the war memorial on the forward area base.
Schemes / Programme
Govt finalising electoral bonds scheme: FM
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government is finalising electoral bonds scheme, a move aimed at cleaning up political funding, reported a national news agency.
- As per the electoral bond mechanism announced in the budget, the proposed bonds will resemble a promissory note and not an interest-paying debt instrument. They will be sold by authorised banks and can be deposited in notified accounts of political parties within the duration of their validity.
- The bonds will not carry the name of the donor and routing of the money through banks will ensure that only tax paid money comes into the political system.
Awards & Honours
3 American scientists awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine
- American scientists Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms". The circadian rhythm or body's inner clock helps regulate sleep patterns, feeding behaviour, hormone release and blood pressure. The three scientists will share the $1.1 million prize money.
Indian entrepreneur wins UK business award for innovative IT solutions
- A Ghana-based Indian entrepreneur has won a prestigious business award in the UK for his efforts to bring innovative IT solutions to Africa.
- Birendra Sasmal, CEO of Subah, bagged the International Business Person of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards in London last week, for turning the company into a thriving IT, telecoms and manufacturing success story with operations across West Africa.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Anand finishes joint-second in Isle of Man Championship
- Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand defeated Chinese grandmaster Hou Yifan in the ninth and final round to finish joint-second at the Isle Of Man Chess Championship. The 47-year-old shared the second spot with America's Hikaru Nakamura, while Norway's Magnus Carlsen won the tournament. India's Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and Swapnil S Dhopade finished at the joint-fourth position.
SL defend 136 to hand Pak their first defeat in Abu Dhabi
- Sri Lanka successfully defended 136 runs to defeat Pakistan by 21 runs in the first Test to hand Pakistan their first ever defeat at their adopted home venue of Abu Dhabi on Monday. Sri Lanka's 39-year-old spinner Rangana Herath became the first left-arm spinner to take 400 wickets after picking up eleven wickets for 136 runs in the Test.
Max Verstappen beats Lewis Hamilton to Malaysian GP win
- Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel recovered impressively from the back of the grid in his Ferrari after engine problems in qualifying to finish fourth and minimise the damage to his title hopes.
- But the German has slipped to 34 points behind the Mercedes driver with five races to go and a maximum of 125 points still available.
Tom Alter, Padma Shri actor and writer, dies aged 67
- Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter has died aged 67. The renowned actor and one-time sports writer and author had been battling stage four skin cancer.
- Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.