Current Affairs: 12 January 2017

2nd Kalvari class submarine INS Khanderi launched in Mumbai

  • INS Khanderi – the second of the Kalvari class submarines – was launched at the Mazagaon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
  • It has superior stealth capabilities and also precision guided weapons that can be launched while underwater or on surface.
  • The submarine will now undergo rigorous tests and trials, both in the harbour and at sea, till December 2017.
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BMW India appoints ex-Harley-Davidson India MD as President

  • BMW has appointed former Harley-Davidson India MD Vikram Pawah as the President of its India operations.
  • Pawah has previously worked with Honda Cars in India and Australia as the Assistant Vice President and Operating Head of Sales.
  • Current acting President Frank Schloeder will assume the position of Head of Business Steering - Luxury Class in Germany.

UK becomes first country to recognise parkour as a sport

  • The United Kingdom has become the world's first country to officially recognise parkour as a sport.
  • Parkour, also known as freerunning, is similar to military obstacle training and involves a participant getting from one point to another, tackling terrain using only his/her natural body strength.
  • The sport has been considered controversial since it uses minimal protection gear.

Citibank launches voice verification for phone banking

  • Citibank has launched voice verification for its phone banking clients to replace the current authentication process of remembering PINs or answering verification questions.
  • The bank said identifying a user's unique voiceprint will take 15 seconds, down from an average 45 seconds it takes currently.
  • The authentication will be completed automatically while the customers speak to the bank official.


Flipkart's Binny Bansal invests in 3D printing startup

  • Flipkart's Co-founder and Group CEO Binny Bansal along with four other angel investors has invested Rs. 6.6 crore in Supercraft3D, a 3D printing startup focused on health and medicine applications.
  • Founded in 2016, the startup provides visualisation solutions to help hospitals, doctors and academicians get a better understanding of anatomy.
  • It also manufactures customised body implants for patients.

Indian Railways launches new IRCTC Rail Connect app for Android

  • Indian Railways has launched new IRCTC Rail Connect app that will replace the previous IRCTC app that was launched back in 2014.
  • Indian Railways E-ticketing System caters to over 10 lakhs passengers daily (comprising 58% of total reserved passengers), said Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launching the app.
  • The new app will increase the ease to users in booking and has been developed to bring the power of next generation e-ticketing system with enhanced security.
  • The IRCTC Rail Connect will also be inter-connected with IRCTC AIR, Food on Track mobile apps to facilitate booking of air tickets and food through e-catering.

Scientists Finally Discover The Function of the Human Appendix

  • For generations the appendix was thought to have no purpose. But now, researchers say they have discovered the true function of this organ, and it is anything but redundant.
  • Researchers now say that the appendix acts as a safe house for good bacteria. The body uses this to essentially “reboot” the digestive system when one suffers from a bout of dysentery or cholera.
  • Conventional wisdom used to claim that this small pouch protruding from the first part of the large intestine was simply redundant or an evolutionary shadow of a once useful organ.
  •  For years doctors advised people have their appendix removed and in spite of it’s now-apparent use, most seem none the worse for having it removed. 

HDFC ERGO Launches Trade Credit Insurance Policy Securing Trade Receivables

  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s third largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, announced the launch of its new policy for corporate, the Trade Credit Insurance Policy.
  • The new policy, also known as Credit Insurance Policy, safeguards suppliers against the risks of non-payment for the goods or services delivered to the buyers.
  • Under this, the insurer covers a portfolio of buyers and pays an agreed percentage of the invoice or receivables that remain unpaid as a result of insolvency, bankruptcy or protracted default.

Delhi Airport first in world to adopt digital platform Arc

  • Delhi Airport claimed it has become the first aerodrome in the world to adopt unique performance and benchmarking digital platform, Arc, which helps in tracking and monitoring building performance.
  • Developed by Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) and US Green Building Council (USGBC), the global certifying body for all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, this dynamic platform at T3 would be used by airport operator to measure, manage and improve performance of airport on resource consumption, carbon emissions and quality of passenger space.
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