Current Affairs Updates - 9th November 2017
New Appointments: National
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated as the new Finance Secretary. He replaces Ashok Lavasa.
Binoy Kumar appointed Special Secretary in commerce ministry
- Senior IAS officer Binoy Kumar has been appointed Special Secretary in the commerce ministry, an official order issued today said.
- The 1983-batch IAS officer of the Telangana cadre is the Director General of Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), the procurement arm of the central government that will be closed on October 31.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as the Special Secretary (Logistics), Department of Commerce.
HDFC Bank makes online transactions through RTGS, NEFT free of cost from Nov 1 with an aim to promote a digital economy
- Private lender HDFC Bank has made online transactions through RTGS and NEFT free of cost from November 1, with an aim to promote a digital economy.
- On the other hand, various charges for cheque-related transactions as well as request for additional leaves will get costly from early next month for non-managed savings and salary accounts.
The Women and Child Development ministry launched an online platform ‘SHe-box’ portal to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace.
- The Women and Child Development ministry on Monday launched an online platform to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace.
- Union minister Maneka Gandhi said the platform will cater to Central government employees in the beginning and thereafter, its ambit will be widened to include the private sector as well.
Union minister Smriti Irani flags-off 'Digital Rath' to spread awareness on cashless payments
- As part of an initiative to accelerate adoption of cashless payments among merchants in various cities, Union minister Smriti Irani flagged off a 'digital rath' on Wednesday.
- Under the initiative, by December 31 global payments solutions provider Mastercard aims to reach out to around 10 lakh merchants in cities, including Lucknow, Kolkata, Pondicherry, Navi Mumbai and Bhopal, to inform them about benefits of electronic payments and how to leverage the tool in expanding their business.
Chennai, often called as cultural capital of South India gets UNESCO recognition for music and joins the elite club of world cities in the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO
- Chennai, often called as cultural capital of South India, joined the elite club of world cities on Tuesday when it was included in Creative Cities Network of Unesco for its contributions to music. The city joins two other cities in India - Jaipur and Varanasi - to have figured in the prestigious list for their contributions to music and folk arts. The dossier to nominate Chennai for the CCN was submitted a few months back to the Unesco by the Union culture Ministry.
WorkoLab launches India’s first co-working space with research facility in Gurgaon followed by one in Pusa Road, New Delhi
- WorkoLab unveiled its first co-working space in the heart of Gurgaon followed by one in Pusa Road, New Delhi on Monday. The company plans to launch 100+ centres in next three years across the globe.
- Co-working spaces continue to experience a high growth trajectory in India and are expected to receive over USD 400 million in investment by 2018.
Guinea Becomes New Member Of International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- In tune with India's growing engagements with Africa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Guinea's Foreign Minister, Mamady Toure, during the course of which the latter handed over his country's instrument accession to the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA).
- According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Sushma Swaraj and Toure exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation.
Science & Technologies
Published in Nature Astronomy: ASTROSAT, India’s multi-wavelength space telescope, discovers ‘strange’ polarisation in Crab Nebula pulsar in the Taurus constellation
- ASTROSAT, India’s multi-wavelength space telescope, has successfully accomplished the extremely difficult task of measuring X-ray polarisation. In a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy on November 6, 2017, the Astrosat team has documented the results of their 18-month study of the Crab pulsar in the Taurus constellation and measured the variations of polarisation as a highly-magnetised and exotic object that spins about 30 times every second.
Scientists have detected dust belts around Proxima Centauri, a finding that indicates the presence of an elaborate planetary system hosted by the closest star to the solar system.
- New observations by Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory in Chile revealed the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun.
Application / Portal
Public sector undertaking Coal India launches ‘Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App’ aimed at benefitting customers of the company that are being supplied coal by road.
- Public sector undertaking Coal India has launched the ‘Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App’ aimed at benefitting customers of the company that are being supplied coal by road.
- The app will allow users to monitor, whether the despatches are made on the fair principle of ‘First in First Out’ and keeps track of all the activities from issuance of sale order to physical delivery of coal by road.
Digital payment platform Paytm introduces BHIM UPI for seamless money transfer
- Digital payment platform Paytm on Tuesday introduced payments using BHIM UPI on its platform, using which users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, which will be issued by Paytm Payments Bank.
- Also, Paytm users can link any of their savings bank account with this unique Paytm BHIM UPI ID and start sending and accepting money.
Kerala government inked an MOU with Intel and UST Global for exploring the possibility of transforming the state into an electronic hardware manufacturing hub.
- The Kerala government today inked an MOU with Intel and UST Global for exploring the possibility of transforming the state into an electronic hardware manufacturing hub.
- The MoU was signed by the state IT department, Intel and UST Global in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, an official press release said.
- Kerala government was committed to make the state an electronic hardware manufacturing hub, Vijayan said.
- To achieve this goal, government had taken the initial steps by setting up the Kerala Electronics and Hardware Mission, he said.
India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for US 119 Million dollar for Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE) Project
- A Financing Agreement for IBRD loan of US 119 million dollar (equivalent) for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) Project" was signed with the World Bank here today. The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Hisham A. Abdo Kahin, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank.
Ola ties up with Microsoft to build connected vehicle platform
- Together with Microsoft, Ola is building a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers worldwide. As part of the partnership, Ola on Tuesday announced that Microsoft will be its preferred cloud provider and will use Microsoft Azure to power Ola Play, the company’s existing connected car platform for ride-sharing that was launched last year.
- At the heart of the partnership is Ola Play, that will leverage Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance driver experiences with telematics, vehicle diagnostics, advanced navigation and predictive maintenance of vehicles; and enhance passenger experiences with cloud-based infotainment and passenger productivity during rides with the use of Office 365, Skype for Business and voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft technologies. It will also provide auto manufacturers with custom digital experiences for their customers.
Awards & Honours
Indian short film 'The School Bag', which tells a story based in Pakistan,wins Best Short Film Award at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM) in Montreal
- Indian short film 'The School Bag', which tells a story based in Pakistan, has won the Best Short Film Award at the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM), said director Dheeraj Jindal. "While making the film, each member of the team literally put their heart and soul and we didn't know what will happen with the film.
Apollo Munich Health Insurance wins 'General Insurance Company of the Year'
- Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company, a joint venture between integrated healthcare provider, Apollo Hospitals Group, and the Munich Re Group was conferred with the 21st Asia Insurance Industry Awards in the "General Insurance Company of the Year" category.
- The award recognises Apollo Munich's contribution in demonstrating market leadership during the qualifying period via innovation in products, services, practices, responsiveness to end-users and intermediaries, initiatives in boosting the image of insurance in society, narrowing the protection gap, and showcasing exceptional business growth through professionalism and sound management.
CMC Skills' Founder Ms. Maya Swaminathan Sinha awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India)
- ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) on Tuesday, 31st October 2017 bestowed CMC Skills’ Founder Ms. Maya Swaminathan Sinha with the 'Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017' in Ranchi.
- The award was presented by Hon'ble Governor of Jharkhand, Smt. Draupadi Murmu.
- ASSOCHAM the apex body of industry & commerce of India had organized “One Day National Summit on Leadership Cum Awards 2017’’ on Tuesday, 31st October 2017 at Hotel BNR Chanakya, Ranchi.
- In this event, the prestigious ASSOCHAM – Leadership Awards 2017, was honoured to the selected organizations/ professionals who have worked incessantly and have taken lead in the contemporary social system, services and quality achievements.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Mary Kom strikes gold at Asian Women’s Boxing Championships against North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi
- Indian sporting legend M.C. Mary Kom (48kg) clinched an unprecedented fifth gold medal but Sonia Lather (57kg) settled for silver at the ASBC Asian Confederation women’s boxing championships here on Wednesday.
- Up against North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi, the five-time World champion and Olympic bronze-medallist prevailed in a unanimous 5-0 verdict to add another medal to her already crowded cabinet.