Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 29th September 2017
1. Gujarat to be first big state to use EVMs with VVPAT:
- Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent.
- It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state.
- The VVPAT is a method that provides feedback to voters after they cast their votes in EVMs. It is independent verification printer machine attached to EVMs. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Thus, ensure free and fair elections.
2. Karnataka govt launches subsidised religious tourism scheme:
- The Karnataka government on Wednesday launched ‘Puneeta Yatre’, to provide subsidised tour packages for promoting religious tourism in the state.
- The tour packages will cater to pilgrims of all religions at 25% subsidy over actual fare.
- The scheme offers several tour packages ranging from a day to seven nights trip, including transport and accommodation.
3. Madhya Pradesh bags ‘Best Tourism State’ award:
- The Madhya Pradesh govt. has become the first Indian state to bag the “Best Tourism State” national award for the third consecutive year.
- The MP state Tourism was conferred with the Hall of Fame Award in New Delhi.
The award (Trophy and citation) was presented by the President Ramnath Kovind at a grand ceremony organised at Vigyan Bhavan.
- Chanderi (Best Heritage City), the Best Tourist Friendly Railway Station award (Ujjain Railway Station) and Best Civic Management of a Tourist Destination of India was awarded to Khargone.
- The English Coffee Table Book published by MP Tourism Board won national award for Excellence in Publishing.
4. Governor Vrat flagged off Mountain Biking (MTB) Himalaya cycle race in HP:
- The Himachal Pradesh governor Mr. Acharya Dev Vrat has flagged off the Asia’s oldest Mountain Biking (MTB) Himalaya cycle race from the Ridge Maidan.
- They would cross from difficult terrain including thousand feet high passes on their way to Dharamshala. The rally will be concluded in Dharamshala on 7th October.
- Total 91 riders including 56 foreigners from 16 countries will cover about 650 kilometers distance in eight phases during this nine-day event.
5. In a First, Saudi Arabia Issues Decree Allowing Women to Drive:
- Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time. The order will be implemented by June 2018.
- Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to forbid women from driving. Saudi women remain largely under the whim of male relatives due to guardianship laws.
6. MoU Signed Between BSNL and ZTE:
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese gear maker ZTE.
- Both the parties will work together and prove key technologies like Pre5G and 5G wireless systems to make a virtual network architecture of a 5G ecosystem for research and commercialization in India.
7. Etihad Airways appoints Tony Douglas as Group CEO:
- Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has appointed former Abu Dhabi airport chief Tony Douglas as its Group Chief Executive Officer following the exit of James Hogan.
- Douglas will take over the charge of the new position in January 2018.
8. Rajiv Sabharwal to Take Charge as Tata Capital CEO:
- Tata Capital announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as Managing Director & CEO designate of the company. Sabharwal will be joining Tata Capital in January 2018 and would be taking over from the company’s current Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle.
- Mr Kandle will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group effective April 1, 2018. Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors.
9. Air India ties up with PNB & IndusInd Bank:
- Air India has tied up with Punjab National Bank (PNB) and IndusInd Bank to secure loans to the tune of over Rs 3,000 crore for meeting working capital requirements.
- Recently, the disinvestment-bound Air India had floated tenders for availing Govt. guarantee backed INR short-term loans totalling up to Rs 3,250 crore in the first phase.
10. VNL Signs Pact with BSNL for Disaster Management:
- Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL has signed an MoU 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.