Current Affairs: 4 February 2017

World Cancer Day: 4 February

  • A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.
  • It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. 
  • Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years)
  • World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media
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    Arun Jaitley introduces Demonetisation Bill in Lok sabha

    • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday introduced a Bill on demonetisation in the Lok Sabha to formally make the banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes a law.
    • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill, 2017, seeks to replace the ordinance on demonetisation promulgated by the government in December 2016.
    • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill states holding, transfer and receiving of the recalled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will amount to a criminal offence punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000. 

    India, Norway set up body to accelerate research for epidemics

    • India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics
    • An R&D blueprint for action to prevent epidemics- funding and coordination models for preparedness and response' and asked member countries, including India, to develop a research and development blueprint during epidemics.
    • Accordingly, CEPI has been founded by governments of India (Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health) and Norway, the Welcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum in collaboration with industry, other governments, foundations regulatory bodies, civil society and the WHO. 
    • The CEPI will prioritise list of diseases against which vaccines are most feasible to overcome barriers for development of vaccines

    19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins in Delhi

    • Offering a potpourri of plays from India as well as other countries, the 19th edition of National School of Drama's Bharat Rang Mahotsav began here this evening with much fanfare. 
    • The annual theatre extravaganza, slated to run through February 1-21, will see 14 foreign productions and participation of 12 countries. 
    • The audience will be able to feast their eyes on performances from England, Russia, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Romania, Malasiya, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, along with performances from folk artistes from around India. 
    • Theatre lovers will be able to book tickets online as well as offline.

    Cancer research centre set up in Noida

    • On the eve of World Cancer Day, a Centre of Integrative Oncology was inaugurated in Noida. 
    • Dr Ajit Sharan, the secretary of the ministry of AYUSH and Dr Saumya Swaminathan, the secretary of the Department of Health Research at National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research (NICPR) inaugurated the facility.
    • The first idea of a collaboration of AYUSH and NICPR was given by a team of scientists from the United States of America. This collaboration will definitely lead to the development of novel drugs for cancer prevention and management. There is also a strong need to interpret ayurveda in the language of modern medicine and treatment, which will lead to an increase in credibility and possibility of a joint research (in the field of medicine)


    India and Italy Sign an MOU for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector Especially on Safety Related Subjects

    • Ministry of Railways and Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) a Government Company of Italy managing the Italian railway sector have signed an MoU for technical cooperation in rail sector especially in the areas safety in train operations.
    • The cooperation areas identified in this MoU includes safety audit of Indian Railways and measures required for enhancing safety in train operation, Assessment and certification of advanced technology based safety products and systems to Safety Integrity Level (SIL4), Training and competency development with focus of safety, Modern trends in Maintenance and diagnostic etc.
    • The MoU comes in the backdrop of emphasis given by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Minister of Railways, Govt. of India on safety in railway operation. 
    • He has directed Railway Board to collaborate with the international experts on this subject and identify the best practices in this field.
    • Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) is a fully owned company of the Italian Government working in the Railway Sector and is under Ministry of Treasure, Itlay. 
    • The Group, with its technical and managerial railway expertise, widely recognized at international level, is one of the most advanced worldwide player in many field, such as design and realization of High Speed and Conventional Lines, Safety Systems, Certification, Training and Operation and Maintenance.

    RTI Act comes into force in Sri Lanka

    • The Right to Information (RTI) Act came into force in Sri Lanka, a piece of legislation aimed at restoring transparency and good governance in a country that has been plagued by corruption and misrule.
    • The government had last week gazetted the categories of public authorities that fall within the purview of the RTI.
    • TISL will be filing several public interest RTI requests with the relevant public authorities, seeking information like that pertaining to the assets and liabilities declarations of the President and the Prime Minister and a request for financial reports of political parties.
    • The authorities are bound to respond to these requests as per the specified guidlines, within a maximum period of 28 days

    RBI allows NRIs to invest in exchange-traded currency derivatives

    • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in exchange-traded currency derivatives (ETCD).
    • With a view to enable additional hedging products for NRIs to hedge their investments in India, it has been decided to allow them access to the exchange-traded currency derivatives market to hedge the currency risk arising out of their investments in India
    • Currently NRIs are permitted to hedge their rupee currency risk through over-the-counter (OTC) transactions with authorised dealer (AD) banks.
    • Under the RBI guidelines, NRIs will be required to designate an AD category-1 bank to monitor and report their combined investments in OTC and ETCD segments. 
    • NRIs may take positions in the currency futures or exchange traded options market to hedge the currency risk on the market value of their permissible rupee investments in debt and equity and dividend due and balances held in NRE accounts.
    • The exchange/clearing corporation will provide details of all transactions of the NRI to the designated bank.
    • The designated bank will consolidate the positions of the NRI on the exchanges as well as the OTC derivative contracts booked with them and with other AD banks.
    • The designated bank shall monitor the aggregate positions and ensure the existence of underlying rupee currency risk and bring transgressions, if any, to the notice of RBI or Securities and Exchanges Board of India (Sebi).

    LIQVD ASIA launches online exhibition portal-ExFirst.com

    • LIQVD ASIA, a digital marketing agency, launched India's First Ever Online Exhibition gateway - ExFirst.com in collaboration with iKarmik.com. 
    • It will be an open platform where an exhibition from any industry can be conducted by any organization.
    • To kick-start the initiative, the first exhibition will feature select designers and brands from the Fashion, Lifestyle and Luxury industry.
    • It will be an upscale, online fashion exhibition providing a concise mix of carefully curated collections ranging from Bridal wear to casual wear.
    • The collections will range from affordable hi-street (Rs. 5000 onwards) to exclusive high-end couture, costing a few lakhs. 
    • ExFirst.com boasts of star designers including the likes of Masaba Gupta, Rocky S, and Rohit Bal among others. Along with these stalwarts, the portal will also showcase a number of young and talented designers.

    Ex Dy CAG among 3 whole-time members in IBBI

    • Former Deputy CAG Suman Saxena and two others have been appointed as whole-time members in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). 
    • Besides Saxena, Mukulita Vijaywargiya and Navrang Saini have also been appointed as the new members.
    • Vijaywargiya, an officer of Indian Legal Service, is working as Additional Secretary in Ministry of Law and Justice. 
    • Saini, who belongs to Indian Corporate Law Service, is Director General in Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 
    • They have been appointed to the board for five years or till completion of 65 years of age, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said. 
    • The board is mandated to regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. 
    • The code is meant for insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

    India beat Pakistan to top pool in Asian Junior Squash

    • Indian Squash Team outclassed Rival Pakistan 2-0 in the lost in the second round match of Pool A at the 18th Asian Junior Team Squash Championship 2017 in Hong-Kong on February 2, 2017.
    • Earlier in the Day India beat Iran 3-0 while Pakistan beat Korea 3-0.
    • In the first match Indian Senthilkumar Velaven beat Pakistan’s Mehran Javed 3-1 and I the second round Abhay Singh outclassed Abbas Zeb 3-0 to clinch the tournament.

    Rex Tillerson sworn-in as US secretary of state

    • Former Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson(64) has taken the oath of office as US secretary of state by Vice President Mike Pence in the presence of President Donald Trump in the White House’s Oval Office.
    • Rex’s appointment is confirmed by the Senate after he secured 43 votes out of 56
    • He is supported by Republican party but opposed by Democratic lawmakers in the Senate, who raked up his ties with Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

    Pankaj Advani pockets the National Snooker Championship title

    • Champion cueist Pankaj Advani won the Indian National Snooker Championship with a 6-0 win over Pandurangaiah of Railways in a one-sided final 
    • Apart from clinching his 29th national title overall, Advani broke several other records. 
    • He became the only Indian men’s cueist to be the holder of all national billiards and snooker titles at the same time – Billiards, 6-red Snooker and 15-red Snooker.
    • After marching into the finals of the snooker nationals with a 5-2 victory over Sundeep Gulati of New Delhi, Advani put on a flawless show of precision in the summit clash, leaving the spectators at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana mesmerised.
    • The final top 8 standings of the National Snooker Championship: 1. Pankaj Advani 2. Pandurangaiah 3. Malkeet Singh 4. Sundeep Gulati 5. Laxman Rawat 6. A. Arvind Kumar 7. Dharmendra Lily 8. Anuj Uppal.

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