KingMakers IAS Academy – “Daily Current Affairs – 30/08/2017”

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International News:-

1.Two-Day Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo:-

  • Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sush=ma Swaraj will participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) scheduled to be held at Colombo.
  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister and President are among the key speakers at the IOC event on the theme of “Peace, Progress and Prosperity”.
  • Delhi-based think tank India Foundation will host the IOC 2017 in collaboration with Research and Learning Center RSIS Singapore and NIFS Colombo.
  • The first was held in Singapore in 2016 in partnership with think tanks from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • The conference will also be attended by officials from the USA, Australia and Germany among others.

2.INCOIS Unveils Ocean Forecasting System:-

  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences here inaugurated the Ocean Forecasting System for Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique at the third Ministerial Meeting of Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES), held at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
  • The ocean forecast and early warming information on high wave, currents, winds, tides, and sub-surface ocean conditions cater to users like fishermen, coastal population, tourism sector, coastal defence officials, marine police, port authorities, research institutions and offshore industries of these countries.
  • INCOIS is already providing these operational services to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles.

3.UN Opens Atomic Fuel Reserve in Kazakhstan to Ensure Supply:-

  • Ensuring the supply of nuclear fuel in the event of disruption due to political or market problems is the objective of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Low Enriched Uranium Bank, which opens in Kazakhstan.
  • The reserve will store 90 tons of low-enriched uranium (LEU), the essential ingredient needed to make the fuel for light-water nuclear reactors, which generate electricity.
  • This material is usually purchased on the open market or by bilateral agreement between countries, a system the new bank does not want to disrupt.
  • The IAEA insists that the reserve is a “mechanism of last resort” for situations in which a UN member nation cannot access fuel by the usual means.

4.Iraqi PM Slams Kurdish Referendum as ‘Unconstitutional’:-

  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the referendum on independence of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan was “unconstitutional”, and rejected the Kurdish attempts to include the ethnically-mixed province of Kirkuk in the referendum.
  • The Arab and Turkoman council members boycotted the session, as their communities in the oil-rich Kirkuk province oppose joining the Kurdistan region.
  • The Iraqi parliament rejected the decision of Kirkuk’s provincial council, after 186 lawmakers of the 328-seat parliament voted in favor of hanging only the Iraqi flag on Kirkuk’s buildings.
  • Disagreements between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government have been intense for years, as the ethnic Kurds consider the northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk and parts of Nineveh, Diyala and Salahudin as “disputed areas” and seek to incorporate them into the Kurdish region.

National News:-

1.29 August: National Sports Day:-

  • National Sports day is celebrated on 29th august every year to mark the birthday of Dhyan Chand.
  • On this occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind will give away the sports Awards. A total of 29 players have been selected to receive the honours from President.
  • The President will confer Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • The Khel Ratna Award is honoured for the players’ spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years at international level. The Arjuna Awards are given to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports while the Dronacharya Award is sports coaching honour.

2.DIPP Releases Next Edition of Consolidated FDI Policy:-

  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry released the next edition of its consolidated FDI policy document, incorporating all the changes made over the past year.
  • The Department of industrial policy and promotion, which deals with FDI related matters, compiles all policies related to foreign investment regime into a single document to make it simple and easy for investors to understand.
  • The whole exercise is aimed at providing an investor friendly climate to foreign players and, in turn, attract more FDI to boost economic growth and create jobs.
  • During the last one year, the government has liberalised FDI policy in over a dozen sectors, including defence, civil aviation, construction and development, private security agencies and news broadcasting.

3.Ministry of Textiles to Organize Pan India Camps:-

  • Ministry of Textiles has decided to organize Pan India camps in handlooms and handicrafts clusters, under the initiative -Hastkala Sahyog Shivir. The camps will be organized during 7th to 17th of October.
  • This initiative is dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay.
  • In these camps, services including credit facilities through MUDRA scheme, assistance for technological upgradation under Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata and distribution of modern tool kits and equipments will be provided to the weavers and artisans.

4.Arun Jaitley Hands Over LRSAM to Indian Navy:-

  • Defence Minister Arun Jaitley handed over the Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) jointly developed by India and Israel, to the Indian Navy, at Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) here.
  • LRSAM is an advanced combat suit for missile defence against air targets and missiles, and has full capabilities of air and surface surveillance, threat alert and fire control.
    Public sector BDL is the missile production agency for the three armed forces.
  • State-of-the-art and first of its kind for a Defence production unit, the Rocket Motor Static Test Facility was dedicated to the nation by Arun Jaitley at BDL’s Ibrahimpatnam Complex located near Hyderabad.

5.Gobindobhog Rice Gets Geographical Indication Status:-

  • Gobindobhog rice,a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status.
  • The region of Burdwan (now divided into the districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal.
  • As a result of getting the GI tag, as the certification is also called, rice from other regions or rice of other varieties cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog’.

About Geographical Indication (GI):-

  • GI tag is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regards to its special quality or reputation attributes.
  • It is covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • Darjeeling tea was the first product to accord with GI tag in India.

6.Home Minister Inaugurates YUVA:-

  • The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the YUVA – a skill development programme and an initiative by Delhi Police under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  • The ‘YUVA’ initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with youth by upgrading their skill as per their competencies. It will help them to get a gainful employment under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna under the Ministry of Skill Development.
  • Delhi Police has tied up with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • National Skill Development Corporation shall be providing skill training to the youth under ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna’ (PMKVY) and CII will provide job linked training through its Sector Skill Councils who are connected to industry and thereby provide job guarantee.

Economic News:-

1.Airtel Ties up With Symantec:-

  • Bharti Airtel has entered into a partnership with Symantec Corporation to protect businesses in India from online threats.
  • The partnership comes amid a spike in cyber attacks over the past few months, including ransomwares such as Petya and WannaCry that disrupted systems across the world.
  • According to the agreement, Airtel will be the exclusive Cyber Security Services partner for Symantec in India, and will distribute the US-based software firm’s enterprise security software.
  • Through the partnership, the two companies will target the IT security requirements of large enterprises, small and medium businesses, as well as the government.

2.FDI Policy Rules out Air India’s Stake Sale to Foreign Airline:-

  • The government’s new foreign direct investment (FDI) policy suggests that foreign airlines may not be allowed to buy a stake in the national carrier Air India.
  • In the “Consolidated FDI Policy” released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the sub-section which allows foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent paid-up capital of domestic passenger carriers is not applicable in the case of Air India.
  • The Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism group, which is headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been mandated to guide the strategic divestment process and to decide on key issues such as treatment of AI’s debt and hiving-off of its assets.

3.Niti Aayog: Survey on Ease of Doing Business:-

  • A Niti Aayog survey on ease of doing business in India has found surprising facts about Indian enterprises.
  • Report of the survey, titled “Ease of Doing Business: An Enterprise Survey of Indian States”, reveals that awareness about single window systems, instituted by states, is very low among enterprises across India.
  • The Single window system allows businesses to complete regulatory formalities from a single location or institution. The lack of awareness about the presence of such a system in states is surprising.
  • The survey was carried out by Niti Aayog along with along with the IDFC Institute, a Mumbai-based think tank.

4.India, Germany Sign Pact to Improve Grid Integration of Renewable Energy:-

  • India and Germany signed an agreement on technical cooperation under the Indo-German Energy Programme – Green Energy Corridors (IGEN-GEC).
  • This relationship between GIZ and India will result in improved market mechanisms and regulations and help train manpower in India to ensure grid stability to ensure more and more integration of renewable in the country.
  • Based on the Indo-German consultations held in April 2013 in Berlin, both countries confirmed collaboration on the green energy corridors.

Awards:-

1.NITI Aayog Announces Women Transforming India Awards 2017:-

  • Celebrating the outstanding achievements of women in India, NITI Aayog, in partnership with MyGov and the United Nations, announces winners of the Women Transforming India Awards, 2017.
  • Awards ceremony recognizes the exceptional work of 12 women in critical areas such as preventing violence against women; bridging the gender gap in education; providing healthcare; building livelihoods and enterprises for women; and promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities.
  • The awardees included Lakshmi Agrawal a champion of violence against women, goat veterinarian Sunita Kamble for creating alternative livelihood opportunities for women, Raji Borthakur for creating a smart glove which can predict epileptic seizures before they occur, Safeena Husain for her work to transform girls’ education in rural areas and Arunima Sinha for being India’s first amputee to climb Mount Everest Jamuna Tudu for conserved 50 hectares of forest land around her village in Jharkhand.

2.NRDC Wins Two Awards:-

  • NRDC, the technology transfer and commercialisation arm of the Ministry of Science & Technology, has won two accolades. It has won the Assocham Services Excellence Award 2017 and its Chairman and Managing Director, H Purushotham, an international recognition.
  • The International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Sweden honoured H Purushotham with the IAAM Medal 2017 for his outstanding R&D contributions in the Advanced Materials Science & Technology during its award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • NRDC also won the Assocham Services Excellence Awards 2017 in the area of Technology Transfer Services. NRDC has transferred IPs and technologies to about 5,000 SMEs /start-ups / corporate.