Daily Current Affairs 14th August, 2017
UN Declares Somalia Free of Polio
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Somalia free of polio. The UN health agency announced that it had not recorded any case of polio disease in Somalia in the last three years.
- The declaration by WHO keeps Somalia outside the last group of countries which still record cases of polio in the world. Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the remaining countries where polio is still being recorded.
Govt planning to hold LS polls early.
- The government is reportedly planning to hold the April 2019 LS elections early, to align with state assembly elections due in November-December 2018.
- LokSabha secretary general said any amendment won’t be required as a provision allows conducting polls within 6 months of being due.
India to open its first Railways disaster management village.
- India’s first Railways disaster management village to be developed at a cost of Rs.44.2crore is expected to come up on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- Over aged rolling stock will be used to replicate train accidents so that real time rescue operations could be carried out to improve such efforts.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
GIS-enabled portal maps land-related information
- The Centre has brought out an online database of more than half a million hectares of land assisting industry. The Geographic Information System-enabled database also has details of close to 3,000 industrial parks/clusters, as well as area-wise availability of agricultural/horticultural crops, and mineral production.
- The database is being developed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the National e-Governance Division in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as the BISAG – an institute for space applications and geo-informatics under the Gujarat Government.
- The exercise is to eliminate the information asymmetry that is currently adversely affecting the country’s industrial policy-making and investments in the manufacturing sector.
Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints in Forbes’ top 10 Innovative Firms List
- Three Indian firms, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints and Bharti Airtel are among Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies, where Salesforce.Com has replaced Tesla Motors on the top position.
- While HUL and Asian Paints have moved up in their ranks to seventh and eighth respectively (from 31st and 18th last year), Bharti Airtel has entered the ranking at 78th position.
Bitcoin crosses $4,000 milestone for first time ever.
- Digital currency Bitcoin has surpassed at the start of 2017.
- Notably, Bitcoin is world’s largest crypto currency by market capitalization.
Inflation rises by 1.25% to 1.88%in July.
- Wholesale inflation rose to 1.88 per cent in July as prices of some commodities increased in the first month of Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll-out.
- Inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) rose by 1.2per cent compared to 0.63 per cent in July 2016.
Telemedicine: Odisha shows the way
- A telemedicine project started by an Odisha-based social entrepreneur is slowly going national after the Central government adopted it as a model project two years ago.
- Through this micro-entrepreneurship programme the government attempts to tackle two problems- unemployment and bad health.
- Started in 2009, the unique model that focusses on sustainability involves training of local youth in e-medicine services and enables them to set up e-health centres in government-run primary health-care centres (PHC), community health centres (CHC) and subdivisional hospitals. These centres have created job opportunities for over 500 youth in Odisha and reached out to over five lakh patients.
- Under the project, local youth are trained for a month in an e-health assistance programme, after which they can apply for a bank loan to start an e-health centre in PHCs and CHCs. On average, the cost of starting a telemedicine centre goes up to ₹6 lakh. A centre needs a staff of four people, including the entrepreneur.
- Typically, a centre is equipped with a laptop with video camera and basic diagnostic testing facilities like blood glucose meter, urine analyser, heart rate monitor, etc. So far, 127 such centres have been opened in Odisha at the village and district level.
- The revenue comes from charges for tests and tele-consultation fees. In case patients are covered under any health scheme for the poor, these charges are borne by the scheme. The charges for tests and consultation are fixed by the government; a basic consultation costs Rs.100 while that with a super-specialist costs Rs.00.
- At no cost to the government, these centres help in offering basic testing facilities. Patients suspected to have major illness get the benefit of the telecommunication facility for consultations with senior doctors. These telemedicine centres also create a database of personal health records of every patient walking in for future reference.
Maharashtra Government Launches ‘Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra’
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra an initiative providing job opportunities to unemployed youth in Mumbai. There are various schemes like farmers weekly market, farmers mobile market and mother’s Tiffin, under this Yuva Rojgar Kendra.
- These products will be made available with the help of mobile vans all over Mumbai and the information about the location of the vans is made available through an app. This app was also launched by the Chief Minister.
Make in India Seminar Held in New Delhi
- As a step in this direction, second Seminar on ‘MAKE’ projects for Indian Army was held on 12 Aug 17 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi jointly under aegis of Indian Army and Confederation of Indian Industry (Cll).
- During the course of the seminar, a round table interaction of various Directorates of Integrated Headquarters of MoD (Army) with industry reps was also held at the same venue.‘Fete de Puducherry’ Begins
- A three-day annual cultural festival named ‘Fete de Puducherry’ organised by the government of India begins in Puducherry. The festival is held in association with the South Zone Cultural Centre (Tamil Nadu) every year to bring to focus the multi-faceted cultural features of various states.
- The Puducherry government has been holding the festival since 1985 as part of celebrating Independence Day and also Liberation Day of Puducherry (August 16).
Ministry of Culture Organizes ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi Program’ in Coimbatore
- To take forward the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a New India movement from 2017-2022, a Sankalp Se Siddhi (Attainment through Resolve) Program was organized at Coimbatore.
- Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma graced the occasion. The New India Movement 2017-2022 envisages an India free of Poverty, Corruption, Terrorism, Communalism, Casteism and Un-cleanliness.
Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Shaurya’ Commissioned
- Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’, the fifth in the series of six 105-metre Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was commissioned in Goa by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
- The OPV, which draws 2,350 tonne and is propelled by 9100 kilowatt diesel engine, has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Ltd and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries.
India, China to join Indian ocean exercise chaired by Bangladesh.
- Despite growing tensions with China, the Indian Navy would join the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in a maiden maritime search and rescue exercise to be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in November this year.
- The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, launched by India in February 2008. It presently has 23 members and nine observers.
India, Russia to hold mega war games in October.
- The exercise Indra, which will focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries will be held in Russia from October 19 to 29.
- The total of 350 Indian army personnel will participate at the mega exercise and the contingent will be led by major general rank.
Prasar Bharati Chief Vempati Given Additional Charge of Rajya Sabha
- Shashi Shekhar Vempati, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has been appointed as the chief of Rajya Sabha TV.
- Rajya Sabha TV is owned and operated by Rajya Sabha and covers the proceedings of the upper house of the Parliament. Vempati will replace Gurdeep Singh Sappal who has been serving as the CEO and editor-in-chief of Rajya Sabha TV since 2011.
Aparna Appointed Executive Director, World Bank
- Aparna, an IAS officer from Gujarat cadre has been appointed as Executive Director, World Bank to represent the constituency of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka for three years.
- A 1988-batch IAS, she is currently Principal Secretary to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. At the World Bank, she will replace Subhash Garg, who was recently appointed Economic Affairs Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
India beat SL to register first 3-0 away whitewash in tests
India defeated Sl by an inning and 171 runs in the third test at Pallekele recording first 3-0 overseas test series whitewash.
- India also became the second team after Australia to whitewash Sri Lanka Sri Lanka.
U-19 Asia Cup shifted outside India after objection by PCB.
- The upcoming under-19 Asia Cup has been shifted to Malaysia from India after Pakistan Cricket Board’s(PCB) objection.
- Citing security reasons, PCB was hesitant in sending the team to India for U-19 Asia Cup which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru.
Gabriel Chundan Lifts 65th Nehru Trophy
- Gabriel Chundan won the 65th edition of the prestigious Nehru Trophy (Boat Race) held at the Punnamda Lake in Kerala.
- While ‘Mahadevikkad Kattilthekkethil’ came second, ‘Payippad’ and ‘Karichal’, last year’s winner, secured the third and fourth spots respectively.
Legendary Sprinter Usain Bolt Retires
- The greatest sprinter of modern times, Usain Bolt form Jamaica retired from the Athletics world. But at farewell Race, he injured himself while running the last lap of the men’s 4x100m relay race in the World Athletics Championships in London.
- Running the final race of his career, the 30-year-old Bolt, after taking the baton from his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, suffered cramps on his left hamstring.
Mairaj-Rashmmi Pair Bags Gold at Asian Shotgun Championship
- On the concluding day of the 7th Asian Championship Shotgun in Astana, India bagged a gold medal in the skeet mixed team event.
- The Indian duo of Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Rashmi Rathore won over the Chinese pair of Liu Jiangchi and Gao Jianmei.
- India finished the championship with a total of eight medals.