Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 31st August 2017
1. Two-day Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo:
- Two-day Indian Ocean Conference 2017 being organized by India Foundation in Temple Trees (official residence of the Lankan prime minister) in Colombo.
- The theme of this year’s conference is Peace, Progress and Prosperity and will involve participants from more than 35 countries.
- This will be second IOC conference (first edition-Sep16 in Singapore).
2. 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue:
- India and the European Union have agreed to strengthen cooperation between their security and intelligence agencies to combat the threat of terrorism and check terror financing.
- During the 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue in New Delhi, the two sides deliberated extensively on combating terror financing and challenges posed by radicalization.
- The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries.
3. ISRO launched IRNSS-1H satellite from PSLV C39:
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched its navigation satellite ‘IRNSS-1H’ from Satish Dhavan Space Centre at Sriharikotta, on board the rocket PSLV C39.
- The satellite IRNSS-1H is a part of the indigenous navigation system called ‘NavIC’.
- NavIC system is equivalent to the GPS service, having the footprint over the whole of India and about 1500 kilometers from its borders on all sides.
- It helps user agencies to plan and monitor their vehicular movement on the road and on the sea.
- It can alert fishermen while approaching international maritime boundaries and help public to locate precisely the addresses they require.
4. Shripad Naik inaugurates Sankalp Se Siddhi program at Goa:
- The Union Minister of state (independent charge), AYUSH Shripad Naik has inaugurated the Sankalp Se Siddhi – New India Manthan program at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR (Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute) in Old Goa. More than 100 farmers attended the event.
- He encouraged farmers to speed up efforts in farming and said farming must be incentivized to attract the youth.
5. India, Switzerland ink two MoUs in the field of Railways:
- India and Switzerland have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for exchanging technical cooperation in the field of Railways.
- They were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard in New Delhi. They also issued Joint press statement.
- MoU between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
6. India-Myanmar to sign MoU for conservation of quake-damaged Pagodas:
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar for conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan, Myanmar.
- The MoU will be signed during official state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Myanmar during 6-7 September 2017.
- Pagodas are Buddhist temple, typically in the form of a many-tiered tower, built in traditions originating as stupa in historic South Asia. Pagodas at Bagan are one of the premier tourist attractions of Myanmar.
7. Rajiv Gauba Takes Over as Union Home Secretary:
- Mr. Rajiv Gauba took over as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mr. Gauba joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty on June 27, 2017 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Shri Rajiv Mehrishi.
- Mr. Gauba also served in the International Monetary Fund representing the country for four years on the Board of IMF.
8. Maneka Gandhi gives away national awards to Anganwadi workers:
- The Union Women and Child Development Minister ‘Maneka Gandhi’ has conferred national awards to Anganwadi workers for their exceptional achievements.
- A total of 51 Anganwadi workers from different States and union territories will be conferred award for 2016-17.
- The award is given to the Anganwadi workers nominated by the States and Union Territories.
- The Award comprises of 25 thousand rupees cash and a citation.
9. Unicity Launched World’s First ever Genomeceuticals Range of Products in India:
- Unicity International, headquartered in Orem, Utah, United States has launched world’s first ever Genomeceutical (gene controlling) range of products to India.
- DNA contains the biological code that defines every single protein in the body. DNA undergoes a process called transcription or gene expression that creates a “messenger” molecule, telling the body to make a specific protein.
10. Govt. approves an increase in income criteria for Creamy Layer:
- The union Govt. has approved an increase in income criteria for the creamy layer for excluding socially advanced persons from the purview of reservation of other backward classes (OBC) from six to eight lakh rupees per annum.
- Now, more people to take advantage of reservation benefits extended to the OBCs in government services and in admission to Central educational institutions.
The income limit is based on the increase in consumer price index.
- Norms for establishing the equivalence of posts in CPSUs, banks and insurance institutions with posts in government for claiming benefit of OBC reservation.
- The children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservation on par with children of people serving in lower categories in government.
- It will also give a more level-playing field to genuine non-creamy layer candidates.
11. Ujjivan SFB Received Scheduled Bank Status from RBI:
- Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, has been given scheduled bank status by RBI.
- Currently, Ujjivan SFB has 65 full-fledged brick and mortar branches in eight states and two Union Territories. Ujjivan SFB commenced its operations as a Small Finance Bank with effect from February 1, 2017.
12. NTPC Signs Rs 3,000-cr Term Loan Agreement With ICICI Bank:
- State-owned NTPC has signed a term loan agreement for Rs. 3,000 crore with ICICI Bank for partially funding its capital expenditure.
- The loan which has a door-to-door tenure of 15 years will be utilized to part finance the capital expenditure of NTPC. NTPC had commissioned 3,845 MW capacity and added 2,190 MW to its commercial capacity during 2016-17.
13. PV Sindhu, First Brand Ambassador for Bridgestone India:
- Badminton ace PV Sindhu, who recently won Silver at the World Championship, was appointed the first brand ambassador of tyre maker Bridgestone India.
- The shuttler has signed a three year deal with Bridgestone India, a subsidiary of Bridgestone which is one of the sponsors for the Olympics 2020 in Japan.
- She became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.