Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 17th July 2018
1. IIT-Madras unveils world’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope
• The IIT-Madras has commissioned remotely operable Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) microscope.
• It is claimed to be world’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope, as it can be remotely operated through special terminal by researchers divided geographically.
• LEAP is high-performance microscope that can provide a precise atom-by-atom view of materials.
• The remotely operable LEAP microscope has been developed in a collaborative exercise involving eight top research institutions in country, spearheaded by IIT-M.
2. Indo-US Delegation Meeting On Defence Cooperation
• As part of Indo-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation, the 7th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting was held between India and the US delegation in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by, Secretary (Defence Production), Dr Ajay Kumar and Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD, US Government Ms Ellen M Lord.
• The meetings are held twice a year, alternately in India and the USA with the aim to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.
3. EU, Japan Sign Massive Free Trade Deal
• European Union (EU) and Japan have signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It was signed at EU-Japan summit in Tokyo by EU Presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
• It is biggest ever trade deal negotiated by the EU and creates free trade zone covering nearly third of the world’s GDP. The trade deal is set to eliminate the “vast majority” of the $1.1 billion in duties that EU companies pay to Japan, according to the European Commission.
4. UNEP Partners With Google For Monitoring Impact Of Human Activity On Ecosystem
• UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has entered into a partnership with search engine giant Google to monitor the impacts of human activity on global ecosystems by using sophisticated online tools.
• The partnership was launched during a High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. The aim of the partnership is to develop a platform to enable governments, NGO’s and public to track specific environment-related development targets with user-friendly Google front-end.
5. Nelson Mandela International Day: 18 July
• Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 is observed internationally on 18th July. This year marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918).
• The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to ‘Action Against Poverty’, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.
6. Brij Bhushan Saran Singh To Be Named India’s Chef de Mission at Asian Games
• Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh is set to be named the Chef de Mission of the Asian Games-bound Indian contingent.
• The four deputy Chefs de Mission set to be appointed are BS Kushwaha (former secretary of Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Federation), RK Sacheti (Executive Director of Boxing Federation of India, DK Singh (Uttarakhand Olympic Association) and Colonel RK Swain (Secretary of Equestrian Federation of India).
7. Microsoft And Walmart Team Up To Take On Amazon
• m Microsoft and Walmart are teaming up for a strategic partnership that will take on rival Amazon in both technology and retail. Walmart announced at Microsoft’s Inspire partner conference, that it’s partnering with Microsoft to use the company’s cloud services.
• The five-year agreement will see Walmart use Azure and Microsoft 365 across the company, alongside new projects focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platforms.
8. Flipkart’s PhonePe Acquires POS platform Zopper Retail
• Flipkart’s digital payment subsidiary PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail – a hyperlocal Point of Sale (POS) platform for small and medium businesses.
• The acquisition is a part of the company’s strategy to aggressively ramp up its offline business. Zopper’s CEO Neeraj Jain and the engineering leadership team has joined the team of PhonePe after the acquisition.
9. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra Wins Gold At Sotteville Athletics Meet
• Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has clinched a gold medal at the Sotteville Athletics Meet in France. The Indian youngster secured the top spot in the podium with an 85.17m throw.
• Moldova’s Andrian Mardare took the silver medal after he covered a distance of 81.48m. The bronze medal went to Lithuania’s Edis Matusevicius, whose best throw of the night was 79.31m.
10. All India Institute of Ayurveda signs MoU with IIT Delhi to give scientific validation to Ayurveda
• All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and IIT-Delhi have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance research in the field of Ayurveda.
• The MoU was signed on sidelines of two-day conference on ‘Raising towards Excellence’ held at New Delhi.
• As of part of MoU, AIIA will invite technological experts from IIT Delhi for research in ancient Indian medicine.
11. BBC World Service launches its first Gujarati language television news bulletin
• The BBC World Service launched its first Gujarati language television news bulletin as part of an ongoing expansion drive in India.
• ‘BBC Samachar’ will broadcast live five days a week from Delhi and will air on the broadcaster’s partner station GSTV at 8 pm local time.
• The launch is part of a wider BBC World Service expansion, which has seen 12 new language services launched around the world over the last 12 months.
• Four new language services have already been launched online in India, these are Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu.