Current Affairs Updates - 9th October 2017
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Bangalore Metro to initially run 16 trains on Phase II
- The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is planning to initially run 16 trains on the Phase II extensions, BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said. He added that tenders have not yet been called for the new six-coach trains. He was speaking after making a presentation on Namma Metro at the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
FBI declares black rights activists a threat: Leaked report
- The FBI's Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit has classified black rights activists as extremists and a threat, according to a leaked report, raising fears about federal authorities racially profiling and prosecuting civil rights protesters. "Perceptions of police brutality against African-Americans spurred an increase in premeditated...lethal violence against law enforcement," the report said.
New Appointments: International
N Korean leader Kim Jong-un promotes sister Kim Yo-jong to top decision-making body
- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promoted his younger sister Kim Yo-jong to the nation's top decision-making body, replacing his aunt Kim Kyong-hee. Twenty-eight-year-old Yo-jong was blacklisted along with other North Korean officials by the US Treasury in January this year over "severe human rights abuses". Two of the three men behind North Korea's nuclear programme were also promoted.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) garner record 656 crore via IPOs in first half of FY18
- According to advisory group Pantomath Research, 58 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have garnered 656 crore through their Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in the first half of FY18. The amount is significantly higher than last year when 32 SMEs raised 295 crore. The advisory group also said that more than 18 companies have already announced their issue opening dates.
PNB puts assets of 32 NPAs with loans of 1,100cr on auction
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) has put assets of as many as 32 defaulters with bad loans of 1,176 crore on auction. The move by PNB is an effort to bring down its non-performing assets (NPAs), which stood at 34,573 crore as of June 30, 2017. Assets owned by the accounts would be e-auctioned by Delhi zonal office on November 8.
RBI to issue Series-III Sovereign Gold Bond
- Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18, Series-III. Applications for the bond will be accepted from October 9, 2017 to December 27, 2017. The bonds will be issued on the succeeding Monday after each subscription period.
Country’s first marine police training institute to be set up at Dev Bhoomi Dwarka: PM Modi
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the setting up of the country’s first “Marine Police Training Institute” at the newly created Dev Bhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat.
KIA to become India’s first fully Aadhaar-enabled airport by 2018
- After a two-month pilot project in February, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has given push to its plan to make Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) the country's first airport to have complete Aadhaar-enabled entry and biometric boarding system.
NGT orders installation of cameras on Delhi Outer Ring Road
- The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi Traffic Police to install cameras to monitor the speed of vehicles and to record their details on the Outer Ring Road stretch running along Panchsheel Park. It also asked the Delhi Police to strictly implement the existing ban on pressure horns and prevent entry of overloaded trucks in the area.`
President Kovind launches 100-crore clean water initiative
- President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday launched spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Math's 100-crore clean water initiative for rural India in Kerala's Kollam. He inaugurated 'Jivamritam' filtration system which will provide drinking water to 10 million villagers across the country. During the inauguration, President Kovind said the greatest service to the divine is service to fellow human beings.
UP govt to convert 5,000 primary schools into English medium
- Uttar Pradesh government will convert nearly 5,000 government-run primary schools into English medium institutions after giving thorough training to teachers. Five or more such schools will be set up in over 820 blocks. The huge demand for English medium schools prompted the government to take the decision, Minister of State for Basic Education Anupma Jaiswal said.
Centre's draft policy proposes abolishing Haj subsidy
- A committee appointed by the Centre has submitted a draft Haj policy to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Naqvi, proposing the abolishment of Haj subsidy. The policy was reportedly in light of a Supreme Court order directing government to abolish the subsidy by 2022. Another recommendation in the policy allows women aged above 45 years to travel without a male relative.
AAP govt inaugurates over 5,000 classrooms in Delhi schools
- The ruling Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday inaugurated a total of 5,695 new classrooms in over 100 government schools in Delhi and called it the "biggest-ever education infrastructure expansion project" in the capital. The AAP government reportedly further announced plans to add another 10,000 classrooms in the next one-and-a-half years along with 200 new schools.
Soon, 3,500 solar panels to light up state governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao residences
- IN 2014, when former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam started his tenure as the Governor of Kerala, he set up a vegetable garden at his official residence. Since then, he has regularly distributed all his self-grown fresh and organic garden produce to his staff at Raj Bhavan.
- Now, it is the turn of Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who has decided to transform all his homes in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, to function on solar energy.
3 river bridges-two over the Hooghly and one over the Ajay in West Bengal to boost trade, highlight culture
- The West Bengal government has decided to construct three river bridges — two over the Hooghly and one over the Ajay - to boost trade and connect places of cultural importance.
- One bridge over the Hooghly river would connect Shantipur in Nadia district to Kalna in East Burdwan district, while the other one would link Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas district to Howrah district's Fuleshwar, a senior official said.
Aadhaar now a must for post office deposits, PPF, KVP
- The government has made biometric identification Aadhaar mandatory for all post office deposits, PPF, the National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra.
- Existing depositors have been given time till December 31, 2017 to provide the 12-digit unique identification number.
Recommendations made by the GST Council in its 22nd Meeting held today under Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley in the national capital.
- The GST Council, in its 22nd Meeting which was held today in the national capital under Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley has recommended the following facilitative changes to ease the burden of compliance on small and medium businesses: Composition Scheme, Relief for Small and Medium Enterprises - Read Full Article.
Rio 2016 Olympic Committee chief Carlos Nuzman resigns after arrest
- Carlos Nuzman, the chairman of Brazil's Olympic Committee, who helped organise the Rio 2016 Games, submitted his resignation following his arrest on charges of corruption. It has been alleged that Nuzman helped buy votes from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure Rio de Janeiro's hosting of the 2016 edition of the Olympic Games.
India, EU adopt action plan to combat terror
- India and European Union on Friday adopted a comprehensive action plan (through a joint statement) to combat international terrorism including criticising terror act by Rohingya terrorists besides sending a clear message to China by emphasising on UNCLOS for resolving all maritime territorial disputes.
Science & Technologies
Google Assistant launches on Play Store
- Technology giant Google has launched its digital assistant, called 'Google Assistant' on the Play Store. The app lets users tap on its icon to launch the Assistant. Google Assistant lets users ask questions with Google picking the conversation and returning the right answer and also lets them take screenshots using their voice.
65,400 smart mattress to monitor sleeping pattern made
- US-based developer Eight Team has designed a 65,400 smart mattress which monitors users' sleeping patterns and regulates bed temperature. The mattress contains sensors which are connected to an app called 'Eight' available both on iOS and Android. Users can create their own account on the Eight app to track sleep and manage bed side features.
US researchers turn algae into renewable flip-flops
- Students and researchers from the University of California, San Diego, claim to have produced the world's first algae-based renewable flip flops. The flexible and spongy prototype is expected to go into full production next year at a projected cost of 3 dollar a pair, researchers said. The same researchers earlier designed algae-based biodegradable surfboards.
US FDA approves first test to screen Zika virus in donated blood
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for the first time a test for detecting the Zika virus in donated blood.
- The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by mosquitos (Aedes aegypti), but it can also spread through blood transfusion and sexual contact.
- The cobas Zika test, manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems Inc., is intended for use by blood collection establishments to detect Zika virus in blood donations, not for the individual diagnosis of Zika virus infection, the FDA said on Thursday.
Defence & Railway
Westland Wapiti biplane was the first aircraft in IAF's history?
- The Westland Wapiti biplane was the first aircraft to be inducted in the Indian Air Force, in 1933, serving in Burma in World War II. The Canberra and Gnats flew in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts. The first squadron of indigenous Tejas aircraft was inducted in IAF in 2016, which comprise the present-day fleet along with MiGs and Sukhois.
Indian Air Force celebrates its 85th anniversary
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday celebrated its 85th anniversary at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad with a parade and an air show by various aircraft. The IAF was established in 1932 with a strength of six RAF-trained officers and 19 air soldiers. PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to extend his greetings to the air warriors.
Schemes / Programme
Intensified Mission Indradhanush launched by PM Modi-increasing full immunisation coverage with a focus on urban areas
- PM Narendra Modi launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush scheme on Sunday, aimed at increasing full immunisation coverage with a focus on urban areas.The government had launched Mission Indradhanush in 2014, for full immunisation of pregnant women and children under the age of two years. Under the scheme, 2.47 crore children and around 67 lakh pregnant women have already been vaccinated.
NGT to hold two-day environment conference with UN in Delhi
- National Green Tribunal will hold a two-day world conference to discuss issues related to climate change, municipal solid waste, and forests from November 3 in Delhi. It will be organised in association with the United Nations Environment Programme among others. Notably, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the conference which will be held at Manekshaw Centre and Mavalankar Auditorium.
Narendra Modi in Gujarat: PM presides over 'bhumi pujan' of greenfield airport at Hirasar near Rajkot
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for a greenfield airport in Chotila to be developed by Airports Authority of India by 2021.
- The proposed site for the airport at Hirasar, measuring 2,534 acres, will be developed at a cost of Rs 1,405 crores.
Awards & Honours
Rajesh Nath, MD, VDMA India, gets Germany's highest civilian honour
- Rajesh Nath, Managing Director of VDMA India, has been conferred the ‘Cross of the Order of Merit’, the highest civilian honour awarded to individuals for their services to Germany.
- The award, also known as Bundesverdienstkreuz or Federal Cross of Merit was instituted in 1951 and is Germany’s only honour that is awarded to both Germans and foreigners for achievements in the economic, social, political or intellectual realms.
Sports: Awards & Honours
SA record their biggest victory in 128-year Test history
- South Africa defeated Bangladesh by an innings and 254 runs in the second Test in Bloemfontein, their biggest margin of victory in their 128-year Test history. South Africa surpassed their previous biggest margin of an innings and 229 runs achieved against Sri Lanka in 2001. With the victory, South Africa whitewashed Bangladesh 2-0 in the Test series.
World no. 1 Rafael Nadal wins his career's 75th title
- World number one Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal on Sunday defeated Australia's Nick Kyrgios to clinch the China Open, his career's 75th title and sixth of the year. Nadal won the match with the scoreline of 6-2, 6-1 in 92 minutes. The last time Nadal won more than 5 titles in a calendar year was in 2013.
Hamilton wins Japanese GP to extend championship lead to 59 points
- Mercedes' British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 59 points. Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished in second and third positions. Hamilton is on course to win his fourth championship with four races remaining in the season.