BreakInterview

Current Affairs - 13-Nov-2017

Politics


Mumbai to host Asian Bankers Association summit

For the first time, Mumbai is to host the 34th annual conference of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) on 16th and 17th November 2017.
34th annual conference of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA):

  • The Asian Bankers Association (ABA) summit will be hosted by State Bank. The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Asia’s turn to transform’.The event is expected to be attended by more than 160 domestic and international bankers.
  • Some of the foreign speakers at the event are ADB’s Noritaka Akamatsu, Chikahisa Sumi of IMF and Cheng Cheng-mount of Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan.
  • The this year’s summit will discuss the impact of the ongoing global downturn on the outlook of the Asian economies, economic consequences of the Brexit in March 2019 on Asia, the America-first policy of the Trump administration, implications of fintech on banks, etc.

Sainik Sankshema Sabha to be organized in all districts of Andhra and Telangana

Sainik Sankshema Sabha:

  • The announcement was made at a rally and a grievance redressal programme organized in Hyderabad. Lieutenant General R.K. Anand who is the General Officer Commanding Dakshin Bharat Area inaugurated the rally.
  • He said that all measures were being taken by the Indian Army to reach ex-servicemen and widows of those who had served in the forces. 
  • In the meeting, many stalls were put up to facilitate and resolve grievances related to pension, re-employment, and rehabilitation.

Bangladesh Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha resigns

The resignation of Bangladesh Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha:

  • Surendra Kumar Sinha led the Supreme Court to a landmark verdict which scrapped Parliament’s power to remove judges on grounds of misconduct and incapacity, in August 2017. This went against the government.
  • He left Bangladesh in October 2017, in the middle of rumors that, he had been pressured to step aside. Immediately after he left Bangladesh, he was accused of serious crimes including money laundering and financial irregularities.
  • His term was scheduled to expire in January 2018. He is the first top judge of Bangladesh to step down.

Sports


Rajyavardhan Rathore releases the India Youth Development Index and Report 2017

  • In India Youth Development Index 2017, the five dimensions of Global Youth Development Index (Global YDI)have been retained. These five dimensions are education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation for young people. 
  • The indicators and weight have been modified in accordance with the importance of the indicators in explaining Youth Development in Indian scenario on national and state level.
  • Global YDI is different from YDI constructed for India on one unique parameter as YDI for India has a new domain i.e. social inclusion.This parameter has been added to assess the inclusiveness of social progress towards removing inequalities in Indian society.

 Pankaj Advani wins 17th world title

  1. Pankaj Advani beat Mike Russell of England by 6-2 (0-155, 150-128, 92-151, 151-0, 151-6, 151-0, 150-58, 150-21) and won his 17thworld title at the IBSF World Billiards Championship 2017.
  2. Pankaj Advani is the winner of a maximum number of world titles in any sport by an Indian. He has increased his total with one more victory.Earlier in the tournament,
  3. Pankaj Advani had overcome fellow Indian Rupesh Shah in the semi-finals by 5-2.

Marquez wins fourth MotoGP world title

Spain’s Marc Marquez won his sixth world championship and fourth in the premier MotoGP category with third place at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.
Marc Marquez – fourth MotoGP world title:
i. Marc Marquez was holding a commanding 21-point lead in the championship from Andrea Dovizioso and he was guaranteed the title with a top-11 finish or if Dovizioso failed to win the race.
ii. Dovizioso crashed out five laps from the end. Marc Marquez finished in the third position and won the MotoGP world title in the Valencia MotoGP 2017.
iii. Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa won the race. France’s Johann Zarco finished in the second position.
iv. The Honda team secured a ‘triple crown’ comprising the constructor, rider and team championships.

Rafael Nadal presented with ATP World No. 1 award

  1. Rafael Nadal replaced Andy Murray of Britain at Number 1 position on 21 August 2017. He has guaranteed the year-end Number 1 ranking for a fourth time following 2008, 2010 and 2013.
  2. Nadal has captured six titles, including two Grand Slam in the French Open and US Open and two ATP Masters 1000s in this season.
  3. He is the oldest player to finish year-end Number 1in the ATP world rankings history. Nadal who hails from Spain is 31 years old.

 


Technology


2020 deadline to redevelop 10 railway stations with airport-like amenities

  • The redevelopment of these 10 railway stations will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 5000 crore. 
  • The redevelopment work at these stations will be carried out under a self-financing model through land monetization, wherein after completion of work, NBCC will be granted rights for commercial use of land at these stations.
  • In the first phase, core infrastructure such as platform, lounges, ticketing counters, parking and other passenger amenities along with separate buildings for arrival and departure terminals on the lines of airports will be built.
  • Against this work, NBCC would get commercial usage rights of the land at these stations for 45 years.NBCC can build or lease land to hotels, malls, multiplexes and corporate. It can even use it to build residential projects.
  • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has stated that, depending on the success of these projects, the self-financing model through land monetization would be standardized and implemented for other station development projects as well.
  • Indian Railways has plans to carry out redevelopment work at 400 stations across India on a public-private-partnership basis.

Scientists created a new organic material that generates electricity when stressed

New organic material that generates electricity:
i. The researchers have created a thin, flexible, rubbery material that generates electricity when stretched and compressed. This works using Piezo-electric effect.
ii. To create this material, polar nanoparticles and silicone must be shaped before they are connected. Then, a strong electric field is introduced into the thin, elastic film to create the piezoelectric effect, which is achieved by exposing the material to extremely hot, then cool temperatures.
iii. This could be used in pressure sensors, pacemakers, other medical devices, clothing, control buttons, or even wearable monitors that generate electricity from the wearer’s movement.

Australian scientists launch “dinner table” app to tackle vegetable aversion

VegEze:
i. VegEze app has been developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It aims to encourage Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets.
ii. CSIRO nutritionists will study how effective the app’s game-like nature is at changing people’s eating patterns as part of a broader research study.
iii. VegEze challenges users to eat three different vegetables at their evening meal daily for 21 days. It will track their intake and tally vegetable serves, with reminders and rewards.
iv. VegEze app features educational resources, including a visual guide to optimum serve sizes, recipes, and nutritional information.

Government launches Bharat Net phase 2 project

About Bharat Net Project:

Bharat Net Project, formerly known as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) was launched by Central Government in October 2011 with an aim to deploy high-speed optical fiber cables across rural areas of India.

  • Its ultimate goal is to provide broadband connectivity to all 2.5 Lakh Gram Panchayats in India.
  • The project is being implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
  • BBNL has assigned the execution work to three government-owned companies – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI) and RailTel Corporation of India (RailTel).
  • Total project cost of BharatNet is estimated to be around 45000 crores, out of which 11200 crores have been used for the phase 1.
  • Under the ongoing Phase 1, one lakh gram panchayats will have broadband connectivity by end of 2017.

 UN hosts first talks on use of ‘killer robots’ in Geneva

The United Nations is set to open its first official talks on the use of autonomous weapons, including killer robots, at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for 5 days, in Geneva.
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW):
i. The meeting is chaired by Indian ambassador on disarmament, Amandeep Gill. He said that, anything resembling a ban, or even a treaty, is unlikely to be imposed on killer robots.
ii. The discussion will also include civil society and technology companies. It will be partly focused on understanding the types of weapons in the pipeline.
iii. Proponents of a ban, including the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots pressure group, insist that human beings must ultimately be responsible for the final decision to kill or destroy.

 


Business


Nepal cancels power project with China

Nepal canceled power project with Chinese firm:
i. Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa announced that the power project with Chinese firm has been canceled as directed by the parliamentary committee. It is said to be canceled due to irregularities and lack of transparency.
ii. Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project is a storage type project, located in Central/ Western Development region on the Budhi Gandaki River of Nepal.
iii. The project was granted to the Gezhouba Water & Power (Group) Co Ltd (CGGC) company one and a half year ago by the the Nepal government, headed by Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

India to be 3rd largest aviation market by departure by 2019

  • US is the largest aviation market with 815 million passengers, followed by China(490 million passengers) and Japan(141 million passengers).
  • However, the report has cautioned that Indian airports are ill-prepared to handle the increase in passengers.
  • It is estimated that Indian airport system would exceed its maximum structural capacity by FY 2022. This could happen much sooner if work on the new airport projects gets delayed.
  • In aviation parlance, the quantum of maximum passengers an airport can handle if all the possible infrastructure and operational improvements are carried out is referred to as maximum structural capacity.
  • The report has outlined that airports of Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai are at the highest risk of saturation whereas smaller airports like Agartala, Guwahati, Kozhikode, Lucknow, and Pune are already operating beyond their design capacity.
  • Over the next five years, to cater to the rising passenger flow, Indian airlines operator would induct nearly 350-400 aircraft in their existing fleet. This will further create new problems such as availability of arrival/departure time slots and parking bays.
  • It has been estimated that 55 new airports will be required by 2030, which would need 150000 to 200000 acres of land and will entail USD36-45 billion of investment.

 PM Modi inaugurated Rice Field laboratory in Manila named after him

Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory:
i. Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of the ‘Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory’. He also undertook a symbolic groundbreaking for a new plot for submergence tolerant rice varieties and presented two Indian rice seed varieties to the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) gene bank.
ii. He interacted with several Indian scientists working at IRRI. He also reviewed a photo exhibit showcasing flood-tolerant rice varieties, drought tolerant rice varieties, salinity tolerant rice varieties and IRRI’s work with women farming cooperatives.

Northeast to get India’s first ever ‘Air Dispensary’

India’s first Air Dispensary in North East:
i. The Union Minister of DoNER, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Air Dispensary plan might be implemented, by the beginning of 2018. As per the plan, the helicopter will be based at two locations, namely Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong.
ii. From these two locations, specialist doctors, paramedical staff, and necessary equipment would move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary in different locations across the eight States of North Eastern Region.
iii. On its way back, the helicopter can transport a sick patient, requiring admission, to a city hospital. He also said that three twin-engine helicopters would be placed for initial operation on six routes in the region around Imphal, Guwahati, and Dibrugarh.